Lake Erie Coast Guard has busy Thursday morning with rescues, assists

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — Coast Guard crews from Lake Erie units rescued and assisted several boaters during three search-and-rescue cases Thursday morning.

At 12:20 a.m. Thursday, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., received a mayday call over VH-FM marine radio but did not receive any responses to calls for more information. The controller also received notification of two flares seen near Cleveland Harbor. The SAR controller began issuing urgent marine information broadcasts over marine radio, asking all boaters in the area to keep a lookout for anyone in distress.

A rescue boatcrew launched from Coast Guard Cleveland Harbor, in Cleveland, aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium. The SAR controller was contacted by a member of Cleveland Marine Towing, Inc., who stated they were en route to assist a disabled vessel with six people aboard in Cleveland Harbor. It was determined they were the same boaters who made the mayday call and launched the flares. The vessel was disabled but not in distress and was towed to safety by the Cleveland Marine Towing crew.

“The Coast Guard determined the boaters did not respond to their callbacks on marine radio channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency, because the boaters were switching channels and making further distress calls,” said Capt. Andrew Sugimoto, 9th Coast Guard District chief of response. “It is important that mariners take advantage of boating safety training and learn how to use their equipment.”

During outreach in support of National Safe Boating Week, held May 18-24, the Coast Guard promoted boater education and required and recommended safety equipment. Click here to search public education classes in your area, put on by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

At 12:30 a.m., Thursday morning, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received a report of an overdue vessel from the parents of a 15-year-old girl who was boating with a 56-year-old man in Lake Erie near Sheffield, Ohio. The girl’s parents reported that she called them and said the man was disoriented, did not know their location, and was under the influence of alcohol.

A rescue boatcrew launched from Coast Guard Station Lorain, Ohio, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small. The RB-S crew located the vessel outside of Lorain Harbor and towed it to the Hot Waters Marina in Lorain, where the girl was turned over to her parents. The Coast Guard boarding officer issued the boater a citation for gross negligence and boating under the influence after he was administered a breath analysis test and had a blood alcohol content of .153. The legal limit for boating in Ohio waters is .08.

During National Safe Boating Week, the Coast Guard warned the public of the dangers of drinking and boating and also asked boaters to be vigilant and report any behavior that could impact public safety or security on our nation’s waterways.

“The Coast Guard depends on boaters to report any potential threats to public safety or property,” said Sugimoto. “Anyone who witnesses any safety or security concerns should reach out to the Coast Guard or call 911.”

At 8 a.m., Thursday morning, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received a report of a man in the water in Cleveland Harbor. A rescue boatcrew launched from Station Cleveland Harbor, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and rescued the man. He reported he fell off of a ladder attached to a pier in the East 55th Street Marina in Cleveland Harbor. The man was taken by emergency medical services to Metro Hospital in Cleveland.

The Coast Guard reminds people to practice caution when recreating near the water, something else that was stressed during National Safe Boating Week.


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