Near drowning spurs opposition to Coast Guard cuts

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When he was 16, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk was rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan by sailors in a Coast Guard service boat. He floated in 42-degree water for about 28 minutes. He was suffering from hypothermia and was close to drowning that spring day.

"But for the Coast Guard, I would not be here," Kirk, a Chicago Republican, said Monday.

Kirk is now fighting to keep the Obama Administration from shutting down Coast Guard helicopter stations in Waukegan and Muskegon, Mich., across the lake from Milwaukee.

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