Saturday, September 12, 2015

Alas, Coast Guard couldn't also fix stupid when it came to saving two Lake Erie boaters

You’d think common sense would prevail when the winds churning the waters of Lake Erie enough to send its waves crashing over the Route 2/90 Shoreway in Cleveland.

Ah, but then you’d forget that boaters sometimes let their common sense screws loosen. And that can become a huge problem, not only for the errant mariner but for those pledged to render aid even for the most foolish among us.

And, brother, a situation that occurred the evening of September 11 was a super-duper dozy of human, well, stupidity.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s District headquarters reported that two boaters were in distress near the Cedar Point Marina, which is located close to Sandusky.

However, their vessel was a pontoon boat you know, one of those comfy barges intended for a leisurely good time on the calm waters of an inland lake or reservoir.

With the Coast Guard saying the waves on Lake Erie had built to four- to six-feet the federal agency sent  a 45-foot rescue vessel from its nearby Marblehead station.

Responding to the scene in just 13 minutes the Coast Guard saved the two boating souls. The service also noted – quite charitably I must add – that the two boaters “… appeared to be in good health aboard the rescue boat.”

“The individuals were not wearing life jackets and did not have any on board,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Janowiec, officer of the day at Station Marblehead. “I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a life jacket when you are on the water.”

As for the pontoon boat, that washed ashore on the Cedar Point Beach and will be removed by a marine salvage company, the Coast Guard said as well.

Just how a silly-to-stupid boater goes about salvaging his or her common sense, well, that’s a service even a well-trained entity such as the Coast Guard is unable to provide.

Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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