In Port Clinton, Ohio a woman was out riding a personal watercraft with three other jet skis when she was knocked off into the water of Lake Erie. The Coast Guard Station received a call that a woman had fallen off of her jet ski in 5 to 6 foot waves. Immediately, rescue crews from Canada, Michigan and surrounding areas began searching.
Around 1am, five hours after they had been searching, one of the rescue crews found the jet ski but she was not on it. It was not until 10am on Monday morning that a fishing boat saw someone in the water. They pulled right up to the woman and got her onboard. She was exhausted and hypothermic but the fishing boat was able to get to shore and have the EMS take her to the hospital.
Be sure to check out the video where Chief Warrant Officer Bethannie Kittrell talks about the importance of wearing a life jacket and how it saved this woman’s life.
The Coast Guard says that the woman was able to survive because she had a life jacket that was the proper size and was buckled in. While this woman’s life jacket was black, they do recommend using a bright colored life jacket as it makes you more visible in the water. She also had a whistle which is highly recommended. The Coast Guard estimate that she drifted about 4 and a half nautical miles in the 14 hours she was in the water.
An important thing to keep in mind that whenever you drive a car, you should use a seatbelt. If you are ever on a personal watercraft, you should wear a life jacket. Even if you are a great swimmer, it is so important to wear one in case you are knocked out or become tired from swimming. There are multiple companies who make affordable, good looking and function life jackets so there should be no excuse to not have one.