Station Calumet Harbor rescues 3 from boat taking on water

CHICAGO – A boatcrew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor rescued a 73-year-old male and two males in their 60’s from a 22-foot pleasure craft taking on water four miles east of Chicago Harbor, Thursday, at about 10 a.m.

The Coast Guard boatcrew transferred all three men safely aboard the station’s 25-foot small response boat (RB-S), while another Station Calumet Harbor crew aboard a 41-foot utility boat (UTB) towed the pleasure craft back to Pastrick Marina.

Upon transport to shore, all three men reported no injuries.

“There was about 60 gallons of water onboard, and their engine failed when we arrived on scene,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Duggan, a boatswain’s mate assigned to Station Calumet Harbor. “When we brought them aboard, it then had about 200-250 gallons. They were all wearing lifejackets.”

The 73-year-old owner of the boat contacted the Coast Guard on VHF-FM radio channel 16 after his boat’s stern plug reportedly fell out and began to take on water. They intended to go fishing in Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard recommends mariners invest in a VHF-FM radio as their primary means of alerting distress on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities when compared to cellular phones.

When a MAYDAY is sent out via VHF-FM radio, it is a broadcast. Not just one party is receiving the distress call; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

The Coast Guard also reminds everyone that all recreational boats must carry one wearable personal flotation device (Type I, II, III or Type V PFD) for each person aboard. Any boat 16 feet and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one throwable PFD (Type IV PFD).

The law states boaters must have a PFD onboard, but the Coast Guard recommends boaters wear their PFDs at all times when boating. It is much more difficult to locate, access or don a PFD at the moment an accident occurs.

Additional information on PFDs can be found at

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