DETROIT, MI – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 17 people during two separate cases on Lake St. Clair, Friday June 23rd, 2017.
Shortly before 7 p.m. the Coast Guard Sector Detroit command center received a call, via VHF Marine Radio from the owner and operator of a 39-foot vessel with 15 people aboard stating that they were taking on water approximately four and one-half miles offshore from the Grosse Point Yacht Club.
An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued which launched a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station in St. Clair Shores and diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Detroit that was in the area returning from another case.
The crew from St. Clair Shores arrived on scene within 10 minutes and began dewatering the boat using a pump. A vessel from Tow Boat US also arrived on scene and began additional steps with two additional pumps.
The Coast Guard crew then began removing the individuals, all adults, and transferred them back to the Coast Guard Station in three separate trips, which was completed in about 40 minutes. All of the persons were wearing life jackets.
There were no injuries. The damaged vessel was towed back to shore.
The owner stated that he may have struck an object earlier in the day resulting in a small hole allowing water to enter the vessel.
In another incident Friday evening, the crew aboard a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat that was involved in the search for a missing person on Lake St. Clair witnessed two people fall into the water when their boat capsized.
The crew immediately responded to the location. They were able to rescue both individuals. Their boat was also towed back to shore. There were no injuries.
The Coast Guard reminds boat owners that they are required to have a wearable, proper-fitting life jacket life jacket for each person aboard your vessel, and strongly recommends all passengers wear their life jackets at all times while on a boat. Accidents that can cause a person to fall into the water are never planned. Wearing a life jacket can prevent a person from becoming completely submerged during a fall into cold water, and help prevent involuntarily inhaling water from the natural gasp reflex, which can cause drowning.