Video: Gutsy rescuers save boaters, dog near Lake Superior's Apostle Islands


Two Lake Superior boaters and their dog are safe after a dramatic U.S. Coast Guard rescue near the Apostle Islands on Tuesday night.

According to a Facebook statement from the USCG Air Station in Traverse City, Michigan, guardsmen received a mayday call from a 29-foot sailboat that had taken on water in windy conditions and was in serious danger of being pushed aground at Sand Island, Wisconsin.

Two rescue boats from Bayfield, Wisconsin, quickly responded to the scene, and had to scramble when one of the passengers they were attempting to extract fell overboard and into the water.

The unidentified person managed to swim to shore, where a Coast Guard swimmer was able to retrieve the passenger and bring them to one of the boats, the statement says.

Things were a little trickier for the man and the dog still stranded on the compromised sailboat, however.

The Guard says a combination of "shallow water, treacherous waves, and a steady 20-knot wind" put the rescue boats in danger of running aground themselves and prevented a number of attempts to retrieve the sailor and his dog from the craft.

In the end, a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Traverse City intervened, pulling the pair up with a rescue basket. The passengers were taken to nearby emergency medical workers and eventually transported to the hospital.

You can watch the nighttime rescue below:

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"In the weather conditions we experienced out there, it was a very difficult rescue to perform, but the crews handled it flawlessly," said Senior Chief Bill Davidson, officer-in-charge of Station Bayfield.

It's unclear how the boaters ended up in their perilous situation, but the Coast Guard says they appear to have been doing everything right, as "both individuals were wearing life jackets and had flares on board."

USCG official strongly recommend every boater take such safety precautions when on the water.

There's no word on the fate of the boat yet.

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