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11 rescued from sinking yacht on Lake Erie

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • U.S. Coast Guard assisted in rescuing 11 people aboard a sinking 40-foot yacht
  • The boat scraped its bottom on a reef
  • No injuries were reported

(CNN) -- Eleven people aboard a 40-foot yacht in Lake Erie were rescued after their boat began to sink near the entrance to the Niagara River Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release.

The boat scraped its bottom cruising over a reef, and the yachters immediately contacted the Coast Guard, who were patrolling the area, Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Blackwell told CNN. Coast Guard Station Buffalo was notified that the vessel was in distress at about 9:15 p.m. and launched a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft crew.

"When we got to their vessel, there was already a few inches of water on the deck," said Petty Officer Jess Hamilton, coxswain aboard SPC-LE, according to the release. "That indicated the cabin had almost completely flooded. The stern was beginning to sink."

Station Buffalo crew members pulled five people from the sinking ship and officers from the Buffalo, N.Y., Police Department removed six more.

No injuries were reported.