Fairport, Ohio Coast Guard crew rescues man, daughter after vessel catches fire, begins flooding

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Fairport, Ohio, rescued a Mentor-On-The-Lake, Ohio, man and his daughter after the vessel they were aboard caught fire and began taking on water in Lake Erie near Eastlake, Ohio, Tuesday evening.

The man used the vessel’s VHF-FM marine radio to call for help at 6:08 p.m., stating he was transporting the 33-foot cabin cruiser from Eastlake to Mentor, Ohio, when the exhaust system caught fire, causing the vessel to take on water.

A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Fairport, already underway aboard the station’s 47-foot Motor Life Boat, immediately diverted from their current mission to respond to the man’s call for help.

When the boatcrew arrived on scene at 6:25 p.m., the fire was extinguished, the man had the flooding under control, and he and his daughter were both wearing life jackets. The man estimated the vessel had approximately 75 gallons of water in it during the peak of the flooding.

Once the vessel was dewatered, the Coast Guardsmen towed it to Mentor Harbor Yachting Club in Mentor.

The Coast Guard recommends all boaters carry a VHF-FM marine radio at all times as a primary means of distress alerting on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities compared to cell phones. When a mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio, it is a broadcast and not just a one-to-one communication; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

The Coast Guard also encourages mariners to wear their life jackets at all times while underway since accidents often occur quickly and without warning. It can be extremely difficult to find and don a life jacket during an emergency.

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