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UPDATE 2: Search crews find 2 missing sailing race participants
CLEVELAND - The search for two missing sailing race participants concluded this morning as crews found the two boaters unresponsive in the vicinity of their capsized boat.
The names of the crewmembers are being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
Divers from a Charlevoix County dive team found the two boaters at 8:44 a.m., EST.
The two boaters were participating in the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac.
The U.S. Coast Guard received initial notification from a private company that monitors personal locator beacons, reporting that two PLBs aboard the sailing vessel Wingnuts had been activated.
Radio watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Charlevoix, Mich., established communications with the sailing vessel Sociable, who were assisting with the coordination of a search by other responding sailing vessels in the vicinity. The crew of the Sociable pulled six of the eight crewmembers from the Wingnuts out of the water.
A rescue crew aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat from Coast Guard Station Charlevoix, Mich., arrived on scene and located the capsized sailing vessel. Crewmembers knocked on the hull of the vessel in an attempt to discern whether or not people were trapped inside. Receiving no response from inside the vessel, the rescue crew began their initial search pattern.
A crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., also began searching.
The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrived on scene to assume the role of on-scene commander and coordinate ongoing search efforts. Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie contacted Charlevoix County to request dive team support. The Air Station Traverse City helicopter crew transported the dive team to cutter Mackinaw, which was used as a dive platform.
2 found dead after sailboat capsizes during Mackinac race - chicagotribune.com
The bodies of two people have been pulled from the water in northern Lake Michigan after a sailboat participating in the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac capsized in a storm near Fox Island early Monday morning. Six were rescued.
The names of the two were not released by the Coast Guard. Officials could not recall any previous drowning deaths during past races.
The Coast Guard was notified at 11:40 p.m. CDT Sunday by radio by crew members from the sailing vessel Sociable, that the 35-foot sailing vessel WingNuts had capsized, sending eight people into the water.
Crew aboard the Sociable rescued six, the Coast Guard said. The bodies of the two missing boaters were recovered around 8:45 a.m. today.
The WingNuts boat was from Saginaw, Mich., with one member out of the eight-member crew hailing from Chicago, according to the race's official website. The rest are from Michigan.
Rescue crews aboard a 41-foot utility boat from the Coast Guard station in Chalevoix, Mich., an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from the Traverse City, Mich., air station and the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw are participating in the search.
Stormy weather in the area was believed to have been responsible for the 4- to 6-foot waves that may have contributed to capsizing the boat, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.
The father of a teen rescued after the boat capsized says his son and crewmates were prepared for a storm but sudden strong winds were impossible to overcome.
Chip Cummings told The Grand Rapids Press and WWJ-AM that his 16-year-old son C.J., of Grandville, was one of the six rescued from WingNuts after it capsized near Lake Michigan's Fox Islands.
Chip Cummings said his son was exhausted but all right. The elder Cummings said his son and others pressed alert mechanisms on their life vests that signaled trouble and sent a GPS alert to the Coast Guard.
Cummings said the missing crew members were experienced.
The water temperature at the time of the accident was in the low 70s. Degener said the missing crew members could safely stay in the water for hours due to the warm temperatures.
The Chicago-Mackinac race covers 333 miles from just off Navy Pier to Mackinac Island in Michigan. It is the oldest annual freshwater race in the world, first held in 1898.
This year, 355 boats with approximately 3,500 crew members were participating.