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.