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Seven survive fast developing storm

The Coast Guard rescued seven people May 30 after their chartered powerboat capsized on Lake Michigan, with the captain narrowly avoiding death.

Nova Communications, a company based in Geneva, Mich., chartered the 39-foot powerboat, Fin Seeker, captained by Jason Lee in WaukeganHarbor to take six employees out for the day, according to local newspaper The (Ill.) Daily Herald.

The weather reports warned of storms farther north, but otherwise the area was clear. They left early and were fishing for about an hour when waves started coming over the gunwales. Lee turned the boat back to shore, but the swells were getting bigger and closer together. Soon, they were approaching 10 feet, according to the report.

Passengers grabbed life jackets and sought shelter in the pilothouse as Lee steered the boat he has lived aboard for the last 11 years. Soon the winds were estimated at 65 mph, according to the report. When a wave shattered the pilothouse windshield, Lee found himself grabbing the radio and calling in a mayday to the Coast Guard with glass in his face. Everyone was knee-deep in water before the passengers abandoned ship. Lee called the Coast Guard one last time before Fin Seeker sank