Five human passengers and a dog were on a boating trip when something went wrong, and the boat started taking on water. The U.S. Coast Guard responded, and fortunately the group was transported safely to dry land.
The group set sail on the morning of July 1 in Saginaw Bay, near Lake Huron, in a 52-foot Chris-Craft boat but soon ran into trouble. They were roughly 1.5 miles northwest of Spark Plug Light, reported Michigan Live.
The owner of the boat then called Bay County Central Dispatch to send help.
The boat became halfway submerged when the Detroit and Station Saginaw River Coast Guard arrived on the scene. All five passengers had donned life jackets, but one person had fallen in the water.
“When we arrived on scene, there was already [a woman] in the water getting smashed against the boat from the waves,” explained Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Adam Voigt.
“When we got there, we quickly realized there was no saving the boat,” he continued. “[W]e had to get [the woman] out of the water and the rest of the people off of the boat before it went down.”
The Coast Guard tossed a line to the overboard passenger and pulled her aboard their 45-foot rescue ship. The four remaining passengers and their German shepherd dog were then lifted to safety from the sinking vessel before heading for Bay Harbor Marina in Bay City.
“A lot of them were in shock,” Voigt recalled, adding that one passenger was slipping in and out of consciousness. “They were very nervous. It was difficult to get them to calm down and help themselves.”
Nonetheless, none of the passengers requested medical care.
The cause of the accident remains unknown. The boat’s owner, speaking to Voigt, simply recalled water flooding the bow in the lower decks. “The bow started getting lower and lower in the water before they noticed,” Voigt said.
Salvage crews arrived the next day, on July 2, to organize the removal of the submerged boat from Saginaw Bay.
“The two most important things these survivors did was put on their life jackets and accurately relay their position to rescue authorities,” said Lieutenant Junior Grade Jeremiah Schiessel in a news release.
It was not the only privately owned boat to sink in Michigan waters in recent weeks.
On June 19, the Sault Sainte Marie Coast Guard responded to a distress call from a 30-foot boat taking on water and launched a rescue helicopter out of Traverse City. The 10 people aboard the boat were forced to abandon ship before help arrived, 9 and 10 News reported. Fortunately, no passengers were injured.
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