Intense video shows a Coast Guard helo rescuing boaters during a raging storm on Lake Huron


VIDEO: Coast Guard personnel brave a thunderstorm to rescue boaters from Lake Huron

ROGERS CITY, MI - A helicopter crew from the U.S. Coast Guard's Air Station Traverse City flew a search and rescue mission Saturday night after receiving word there was a boat in distress in Lake Huron, with four people on board.

Winds were clocking in at 35 mph and waves were reaching about 15 feet when the crew aboard the MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter located the boat near Rogers City, about 40 miles north of Alpena. They reached the vessel amid thunderstorms, about two hours after the initial distress call.

"After deploying our rescue swimmer and nearly an hour of hovering over the vessel, we successfully hoisted 4 individuals and transported them to Cheybogan, MI for transfer to ambulatory services. We are always "Semper Paratus" here at the Air Station, but please be safe out on the water!," the Coast Guard said today in a description of the incident posted to Facebook.

A video of the rescue released by the Coast Guard shows how tricky the operation was, with high waves rocking the boat. A rescue swimmer dropped down into the back of the boat, where that person helped all four people aboard get into a rescue basket so they could be pulled up into the helicopter, one by one.

At one point, a crew member aboard the chopper can be heard warning the rescue swimmer about the rough water: "You got a couple heavier waves coming your way," the crew member said, advising the rescue swimmer and those still on board to hold onto something to keep their balance.

A Coast Guard video of the rescue can be seen here.

Air Station Traverse City has had a small fleet of the Jayhawks since the summer of 2017. They replaced the earlier group of MH-65 Dolphins the crew had been flying.

The local Coast Guard crews were excited about the change in aircraft. The MH-60T Jayhawk is an all-weather helicopter, similar to the Navy MH-60S Seahawk and the Army UH-60 Blackhawk.

The Jayhawks can fly twice as long as the older models before needing to refuel - a great capability to have when search-and-rescue efforts over the Great Lakes can last for hours.

The Jayhawks are bigger, too. The Coast Guard can evacuate up to 15 people at a time if needed, which wasn't possible with the Dolphins.

They also handle Michigan's cold weather better than the Dolphins, the military said. The Jayhawks come equipped with engine anti-ice and de-icing systems.


©2019, Walker, Mich.. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

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