MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter team rescued two people and their dog from a stranded sailboat in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Park Tuesday night.
According to a press release from the Coast Guard, a search-and-rescue operator in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan heard a mayday call over VHF-FM radio from a 29-foot sailboat at around 7 p.m. The caller told responders his boat was taking on water and being pushed by winds, saying it would soon be run aground.
The Coast Guard says responders quickly dispatched a rescue boat crew from Station Bayfield, Wisconsin and an air team from Traverse City, Michigan to the sailboat’s location in Lake Superior. They first located the boat in the darkness after passengers launched three flares.
While attempting to pass a rescue line to the stranded boat, the Coast Guard says one of its passengers fell into the water, but was able to swim ashore. From there, rescuers helped the passengers board the rescue boat and head to a nearby marina for medical attention.
The Coast Guard says it was much more difficult to get the other passenger and dog from the sailboat due to 20-knot winds and shallow waters. When the helicopter crew arrived on the scene, a rescue swimmer was finally able to load the dog and passenger into a rescue basket, which was hoisted back up to the aircraft. The rescue was captured on the helicopter’s onboard camera, which the Traverse City Coast Guard posted to its Facebook page:
The second passenger was treated at Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, Wisconsin.