Crews from the Buffalo Coast Guard Station and the Erie County Sherriff's Office Marine Division were pressed into action Tuesday night when a vessel with seven people aboard struck a reef in Lake Erie at the mouth of the Niagara River.
A 9-1-1 call indicated the 21-foot boat was taking on water rapidly after striking a reef near the Bird Island Pier. When the rescue crew arrived, the vessel was completely sunk with only 4 inches of hull showing above the water line.
All seven people were rescued and no serious injuries were reported.
The Coast Guard placed a pump in the damaged boat and it
was towed to the Erie Basin Marina. The accident happened around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
"Boaters cannot see underwater, which is why the Coast Guard maintains aids to navigation," said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas D'Amore of Coast Guard Station Buffalo. "While there's no perfect substitute for experience and local knowledge, we encourage boaters to exercise prudence and use available tools whne navigating unfamiliar waters."
Patrol units from the Buffalo Police Department along with marina personnel assisted getting the vessel on land.
The names of the people rescued were not released.