Area Coast Guard rescues 19 people from capsized vessels Saturday

CLEVELAND - Coast Guard crews rescued 19 people Saturday in four separate, weather-related cases that involved capsized vessels.

In the first incident, a call came in  at 1:45 pm off of Gem Beach on Catawba Island for a pontoon boat carrying 12 adults that had been hit by high waves and was taking on water. Three people in the water were rescue by Customs and Border Control and the 9 in the boat were escorted back to safety by the Coast Guard. No one was injured.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m, a "Mayday" call was received at Station Erie from a 28-foot charter boat with 7 people on board. They reported that they were taking in water about 3 miles off of the Walnut Creek Access. The seven passengers were rescued from the water by the Coast Guard and brought to shore. One person had to be treated for inhaling water.

Station Erie also received a call at 8:20 p.m. about a 22-foot boat with 12 people on board that had capsized near Dobbins Landing in Presque Isle Bay.  The Coast Guard rescued 10 of them and a good Samaritan rescued two others. No one was injured.

In the last incident, two kayakers were rescued by a crew from Station Erie as the boat was on patrol.

“These cases we were involved in today highlight the importance of wearing a life jacket at all times, and knowing the weather conditions before getting underway,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class James Stephenson, a member of one of the rescue crews from Station Erie, in a statement released by the Coast Guard.

The weather conditions Saturday resulted in 4 foot waves. A small craft advisory was issued as well.

There is a small craft advisory in effect for Lake Erie waters bordering much of northeast Ohio in effect Sunday as well. Winds were forecast to reach 15-25 knots and waves were expected to build to 2-4 feet. Inexperienced sailors and those operating smaller vessels are urged to stay off the water.

In addition, a beach hazards statement was issued for Sunday warning swimmers of strong winds, high waves, rip tides and longshore currents.

Both the small craft advisory and the beach hazards statement are in effect until 10 p.m. Sunday evening.