Coast Guard rescues Duluth family from Lake Superior fishing trip

The Monday afternoon operation involved several public safety agencies.
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The Coast Guard towed the boat to Rice's Point Landing.

The Coast Guard towed the fishing boat to Rice's Point Landing. 

A Duluth family was rescued from Lake Superior Monday afternoon after a fishing trip took a dangerous turn.

Thomas Rheaume, 41, and his wife, Sara Rheaume, 32, of Duluth, were about a half-mile south of the Aerial High Bridge when their engine stopped and water began entering the 22-foot vessel. They called for help through a VHF radio, a United States Coast Guard press release says.

Also on board were their 4-year-old son, Levi, and their one-year-old chocolate lab, Bradley Cooper.

Within five minutes, the Coast Guard arrived, with responders restarting the engine, sealing the leak and towing the Rheaumes and their dog to safety at Rice’s Point Landing. 

The boat appeared to have struck “submerged debris just off Rice's Landing, causing seals around the lower unit to breach and allow water to enter the hull,” the press release said.

Thomas Rheaume told the Star Tribune he had also forgotten to replace an engine plug he had removed for winterization. He described the response from the Coast Guard as “super quick, friendly and helpful.”

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“As the boating season begins, it is important to ensure your vessel is ready to safely get underway,” said Taylor J. Barnes, the boarding officer during the rescue, in a statement. 

“Conduct a check of your engine, make sure you have the proper safety gear including life jackets, and ensure you have an operable VHF radio.”

Officers from the Duluth Fire Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Duluth Police Department and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.

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