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Great Lakes Media Contact: (216) 902-6020

9th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: June 25, 2012

Ninth Coast Guard District

Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District External Affairs Office

Office: (216) 902-6020

Mobile: (216) 310-2608

Coast Guard assists 7 people off grounded vessel

CLEVELAND — A Coast Guard rescue boatcrew assisted seven people off a 32-foot cabin cruiser that ran aground near Chicago, early Monday morning.

The boaters' names and hometowns are not being released. The Coast Guard is not releasing any imagery from this case.

Radio watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, received a report that a vessel had struck the Calumet Harbor North Breakwall, and there were people standing on the rocks.

Station Calumet Harbor launched a boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.  After arriving on scene with the grounded boat, all seven people were transferred aboard the RB-M and taken to waiting Chicago Police and Emergency Medical Services at Station Calumet Harbor.

Commercial salvage was called but cannot attempt salvage until conditions improve.  Current weather conditions are 6- to 8-foot seas and 20- to 25- knot winds. There have been no reports of pollution associated with the grounded vessel.

Station Calumet Harbor will continue to monitor the boat's location to ensure it does not drift into the Calumet Harbor gap or main channel.

Although the Coast Guard did not issue any citations, the RB-M crew observed that the boat operator and passengers appeared to be intoxicated.

During the course of the weekend, Coast Guard law enforcement officers throughout the Great Lakes cited six people who were operating their boats under the influence of alcohol.

“Alcohol is even more hazardous on the water than on land," said Petty Officer 1st Class David Sommerhauser, assigned to Station Calumet Harbor.  "The marine environment – the motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker's impairment.

"These stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator's coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol.”

Click here to learn more about boating under the influence.

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