The Week in Review: 8/28/15

Since I don’t get to go boat watching all that often, I decided to use this blog for not only sharing my photos, but also keeping readers up to date on things that occur around the Lakes. I decided to add a new feature, called “The Week in Review,” on Fridays to discuss what may have happened over the past week.

Today’s edition is a bit long – as many of you know, there were quite a few incidents that occurred this week.

First was the story of 41-year-old Jerald Glenn Rinaldi, who jumped off the deck of the 1,000-foot Interlake freighter Stewart J. Cort. Details were gradually released over the past week about what happened, and it was determined that the man was confronted aboard the ship by the captain about his drinking, and he was told to stay in his cabin until the ship reached port. As it turned out, he instead jumped from the ship at 1:15 a.m. this past Sunday, August 23. The ship’s crew immediately deployed three life rings and notified the pilothouse. The U.S. Coast Guard deployed a 45-foot response boat from Manistee, MI, and two aircrews from Muskegon and Traverse City, MI to aid the search. In addition, the tug Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation, Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, Vikingbank, Calumet, Roger Blough, and others were in the area and assisted with the search. As of now, Rinaldi has not been found. I will update this story as details become available.

On Monday, August 24, the 728-foot laker Joseph L. Block responded to a distress call from a boater 10 miles off the shore of Port Washington, WI. When the Block arrived on scene, they found the boater in the water wearing a life jacket. The crew hoisted the man out of the water, and when a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Sheboygan arrived, he was transported off the Block to be taken to Port Washington. The Coast Guard took his 28-foot boat in tow, but it had taken on too much water. The crew decided the release the tow, and the boat sank immediately about 8 nautical miles off the Port Washington pier heads in more than 350 feet of water.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Michipicoten, and other recreational boaters assisted in the rescue of two men from a 42-foot sailboat approximately 18 nautical miles east of Alpena, MI, on Wednesday, August 26. The Coast Guard received a call from the men, stating their vessel was taking on water and they were using a dewatering pump to keep the vessel afloat. Three Coast Guard crews were dispatched to the scene, including a Dolphin helicopter. In addition, the Canadian-flagged 689-foot motor vessel Michipicoten was nearby, and provided a lee for the sailboat due to the 6-7 foot waves and 20-25 knot winds. When the Coast Guard crews arrived, they were made aware that one of the men had a history of heart problems, and had to be medically evacuated due to chest pains he began experiencing. The crews then continued to dewater the vessel before taking it in tow back to Thunder Bay Harbor in Alpena, MI.

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