Boat Capsizes During Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Five people were rescued in two separate cases on Lake Michigan during the annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac this weekend.
The first case took place shortly after midnight approximately 40 miles east of Port Washington, Wisconsin.
The victim had fallen overboard, but was wearing a life jacket and a personal locator beacon. They were found in good condition despite being in the water for over an hour.
One of the other competitors responded and rescued the victim from the water.
In the second case, three red flares were reported approximately 30 miles east of Fox Point, Wisconsin shortly after one in the morning on Sunday. One of other racers arrived on scene and found that a vessel had capsized and four people were clinging to the vessel’s hull.
Due to the weather, the other racer was unable to render aid.
The vessel had capsized due to a series of 35 mile-per-hour winds that shifted from the south to the northwest very quickly.
Only two of the four people on the vessel’s hull were wearing life jackets. They did have an electronic position indicating radio beacon and flares.
A Coast Guard Cutter and a helicopter crew arrived on scene.
The helicopter hovered over the vessel and provided assistance with their spotlight while a small boat from the cutter rescued the four people.
All four people were reported to be in good condition and did not require medical attention.
The Coast Guard strongly recommends boaters wear their life jacket at all times while underway in case of unexpected weather conditions. Additionally, a personal locater beacon and signaling devices, like flares, can greatly reduce search time and increase rescue probability.