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Teen 'vital' to Grand Haven rescue, Coast Guard says

Assistance from a 13-year-old on board a grounded pontoon boat in Grand Haven was vital to the rescue, a Coast Guard official said.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven responded to a radio call early Saturday morning alerting them of a grounded pontoon boat in the Grand River in Grand Haven, Mich.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Greg Mattson said in a statement a teenager on board the pontoon was "vital to the success of the rescue operation."

The teenager alerted responders that 13 of the 15 people aboard were deaf, three were asthmatics who didn't have their medication and one person injured in a recent car accident was also without medication.

The teenage girl helped a nearby tow boat find the vessel. Shallow waters prevented a tow so passengers were transferred by an inflatable skiff three people at a time.

The pontoon had only two life jackets on board and had been offshore since Friday afternoon.

Names and the medical conditions of passengers were not released in the Coast Guard's statement.

 

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