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A rescue not by the numbers

A Coast Guard rescue crew assisted three Canadian sailors Thursday morning after their 30-foot vessel became disabled and adrift in Michigan’s St. Clair River.

The wind and current were working against both the would-be rescuers and the boat in distress, which was drifting perilously close to a lee shore.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Port Huron, Mich., was diverted from training and responded to the disabled vessel. In addition, the unit dispatched a second boatcrew aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat to assist and several other station crewmembers in a government vehicle to oversee the operation from shore.

Due to the potential for the vessel to drift into nearby rocks in winds of 20-30 knots, it was deemed safer for the crewmembers in the government vehicle to tie the vessel to shore with a mooring line while having the boaters use the sailing vessel’s rudder to steer it away from shore.

The crew aboard the 41-foot UTB towed the vessel away from the rocks, then it transferred the tow to a Canadian commercial salvage crew, who towed the sailing vessel back to a marina on the Canadian side of the river.

The cause of the vessel becoming disabled is unknown.

“Due to their quick and outside-the-box thinking, the crewmembers were able to safely and effectively carry out a successful assist,” Lt. Jillian Lamb, the chief of the Sector Detroit Communications Center, said in a press release.