A private boat taking on water in choppy conditions on Lake Michigan near Winthrop Harbor was rescued by the Coast Guard early Thursday morning.
The Winthrop Harbor Fire Department responded at 3:39 a.m. Thursday to the North Point Marina, 701 North Point Drive, for a report of a boat in distress one mile east of the marina on Lake Michigan.
Winthrop Harbor Fire Chief Justin Stried said that the boat was taking on water and unable to make it back to shore.
A Winthrop Harbor Fire Department rescue boat with two divers was deployed in the water but they also began taking on water after getting 25-50 yards past the marina breakwall, Stried said.
The rescue boat turned around and was able to make it back to shore safely. The Coast Guard, Lake County Special Response Team and numerous fire departments were then called to the scene to assist with the operation.
The Coast Guard vessel was able to make contact with the private boat in distress and confirm that the passengers were not injured. The crew and boat was towed to the North Point Marina.
“Lake Michigan has proven to be a dangerous body of water for boaters and swimmers alike. Please use caution when enjoying this Great Lake, and have safety measures such as personal floatation devices (PFD’s), flashlights and communication equipment ready and available,” Stried said.