Coast Guard rescues 15 people stranded on pontoon boat on Grand River in western Michigan


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard says an overnight radio conversation with a 13-year-old girl led its crews to a grounded pontoon boat carrying 15 people, 13 of them deaf and a few with medical conditions.

The Coast Guard says in a statement that a crew from its Grand Haven station found the 16-foot pontoon boat on Saturday grounded in western Michigan’s Grand River near Grand Haven.

The statement says a patrol boat spoke with the girl about 1:15 a.m. Saturday. It says the girl told the crew that some of the passengers needed medicine.

The Coast Guard says the boat left shore at 5 p.m. Friday and had only two life jackets. It says crews used a small inflatable skiff to rescue the passengers three at a time.