US Coast Guard responds to distress call

MARQUETTE – Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard station in Marquette rescued a boater in distress in an overturned sailboat near Picnic Rocks Tuesday afternoon. The incident was reported at about 3:45 p.m.

The 25-foot sailing vessel had lost power and was taking waves over the side. There was only one man on board. He was not injured.

When Coast Guard officers arrived on the scene, they were able to communicate with him by cell phone. He said he was concerned about keeping his sailing vessel directed into the swell because of weather conditions. Higher winds and cooler temperatures in that area were causing 6 to 8 foot waves, and the man said he could not position the boat to navigate safely.

The man had already shot off one flare when dispatch launched a 45 response boat medium and requested he shoot one more to help vector him in. He was located about 300 meters offshore between the old lighthouse and Picnic Rocks near the 1300 block of Lakeshore Boulevard.

Coast guard officers hooked the vessel up into a stern tow and safely towed him into Marquette harbor around 4:15 p.m.

Coast Guard officials declined to release the man’s name.

Mary Wardell can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.