Monday, June 28, 2010

Dozens Rescued on the Water

While members of the Coast Guard have been busy rescuing the Gulf of Mexico from an ongoing oil disaster, don't forget these brave men and women have boaters to rescue, too. This was as clear as ever over the past few days, which seemed especially active for water rescuers across the US.

Thursday night, three boaters were rescued near Clearwater, Florida, when their 25 foot boat began taking on water about five miles from shore.

On Friday morning, four men were rescued after their fishing boat sank in Lake Erie, 6 miles northwest of the Walnut Creek Access Area in Pennsylvania.

Off Edisto Beach in South Carolina, a 30 foot sailboat began to sink early Friday and the one person onboard had to be rescued. The newly purchased sailboat was named Foreign Exchange.

Also on Friday morning, two men and two women were rescued from their burning, sinking boat between Prudence and Patience islands in Rhode Island.

On Saturday, two men were rescued and a third died of a heart attack after their 20-foot fishing boat capsized on Lake Michigan near Sheboygan Harbor in Wisconsin. Among the facts of this incident: the boaters did not have a VHF radio on board and used a cell phone to call 911.

Rescuers from the west coast of Florida were busy again on Saturday morning when a 25-foot Fountain began taking on water 23 miles west of John's Pass. All four men aboard the powerboat were rescued, and the fact that they had an EPIRB on board helped the Coast Guard find them. (More about EPIRBs)

Meanwhile, three other people in the area were rescued after clinging to the side of their capsized boat for 12 hours, Friday night through Saturday morning, about 7 miles west of Egmont Key. (Full story about these two Florida incidents)

In Iowa on Sunday, three boaters and the fishing boat they were in went over a dam on the Wapsipinicon River. Two of the boaters made it safely to shore, but the other had to be rescued – none were wearing life jackets, and the boat's operator has been charged with BUI.

A few boating safety tips are glaring from this small collection of accidents: Always wear life jackets, carry a working VHF radio, carry an EPIRB, and don’t drink and boat. For more basics of boating safety, visit the FirstBoat boating safety page.

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