Detroit-area Coast Guard assists 6 in Detroit River, caps off busy weekend for area

d9CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard assisted six people after their vessel became disabled and drifted onto the rocks while they were underway on the Detroit River late Sunday evening.

At 10:15 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Detroit were notified by people aboard a sailboat that there was a vessel aground on the Detroit River with one or two people aboard. One of them was calling for help and waving a flashlight.

Sector Detroit diverted a crew from Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, Michigan, aboard a 25-foot response boat, from a harbor patrol and issued an urgent marine information broadcast that advises boaters of a situation, asks them to keep a sharp lookout, report any sightings to the nearest Coast Guard unit and to assist if possible.

With help from the reporting source aboard the sailboat, the response boat crew was able to locate the adrift vessel. It was found crashing against the rocks. As the crew approached the disabled vessel, they realized that there were in fact six people aboard, two adults and four small children.

Due to their proximity to the rocks, the response boat crew took the vessel in tow to the Windmill Point Marina in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, where they conducted a post-case safety boarding.

The boarding revealed that the vessel did not have proper fitting life jackets onboard for the two smallest children and did not have a sound – producing device. Due to these factors, the Coast Guard boarding officer terminated the vessel’s voyage.

No injuries or pollution were noted and the vessel did not appear to be taking on water.

“It is the boater’s responsibility to ensure that they have all of the required safety equipment onboard their boat before getting underway,” said Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Settel, the command center chief at Sector Detroit. “Each piece of equipment, such as a proper fitting life jacket, is vital to the safety of everyone on your boat and on the water.”

Elsewhere this weekend on the Great Lakes, Coast Guard crews responded to 163 distress, law enforcement and marine safety calls, saved 15 lives and assisted 231 boaters. Coast Guard law enforcement crews also cited 13 operators for boating under the influence and terminated 19 other voyages due to unsafe operation or insufficient safety equipment.

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