WAUKEGAN HARBOR, IL–The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two men from the water after their boat sank while on a fishing trip near Waukegan Harbor, Illinois on Friday.
The two men, 29 and 31 years old, were approximately one mile east of Waukegan Harbor when their 15-foot bass boat began taking on water and sank in approximately 10 minutes. Shortly after noon central time, the Coast Guard received a call from one of the men in the water who was using his partially waterproof cell phone. Coast Guard Station Kenosha launched a 45-foot response boat-medium and rescued the two men from the 58 degree Fahrenheit water.
The first subject rescued was not wearing a life jacket, and was treading water while holding onto a small, boat fender. The second person had his life jacket on backwards, and was holding his cell phone above his head to keep it dry while treading water.
The men had bought a new plug for their boat and thought that it fell out while they were driving onto the lake, resulting in water quickly coming in once they anchored according to their statements. The men did not have a float plan and no one knew they were going out on the water.
The Coast Guard urges boaters to have a plan when they go out on the water, to carry multiple signaling devices, to have enough working life jackets, and to bring an electronic position indicating radio beacon.