The US Coast Guard rescued two people from a disabled boat near Niagara Falls late Monday night.
At about 9:15 p.m., a search-and-rescue coordinator from Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, responded to a call for help from the boaters via cell phone. The distressed boater reported two people were aboard a disabled 19-foot boat, 700 yards inside the Niagara Falls Exclusion Zone. The boater also reported that the boat was anchored.
The Sector Buffalo SAR coordinator issued an urgent marine information broadcast, which broadcasts the location and nature of distress to mariners and asks who can offer help if they are able. The SAR coordinator also launched a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Buffalo aboard a 25-foot response boat, and an air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aboard a Dolphin helicopter, to assist the boaters.
Also responding were boat crews from New York State Parks Police, Erie County Sheriff’s Department and Erie County Air One. Ontario Power Authority and Niagara Mohawk Power Authority slowed the flow of the Niagara River as much as possible to assist in rescue efforts.
The Coast Guard boat crew arrived at the edge of the exclusion zone at about 9:45 p.m., but could not proceed further due to water depth. A commercial salvage boat crew tried to get into the exclusion zone but became temporarily grounded before freeing itself.
At about 10:45 p.m., the Erie County Air One helicopter arrived overhead of the boaters and provided surveillance information to the incoming Coast Guard air crew. The Coast Guard air crew arrived on scene at about 11:30 p.m., and completed the rescue at 11:47 p.m. The air crew then transported the two boaters to the Niagara International Airport. Neither boater needed medical attention.