The U.S. Coast Guard, assisted by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office patrol boat, rescued six people from a 16-foot motorboat that was taking on water in the Niagara River off the City of Tonawanda late Wednesday night.
The rescued included a 2-month-old baby and a 9-year-old boy, the Coast Guard said. Their names were not released. No one was hurt.
A woman phoned the Coast Guard at about 10:30 p.m., reporting that she heard a boat strike something in the river near Mississippi Mudds, a restaurant on Niagara Street in the City of Tonawanda. The street is separated from the riverbank by Niawanda Park.
The boat was believed to have struck a submerged object, the Coast Guard said.
A 25-foot response boat from the Buffalo Coast Guard station already was nearby, making law enforcement boardings of pleasure craft. Its crew soon saw a bright SOS signal launched from the damaged vessel.
One of the men on the struggling boat had downloaded an SOS appl to his smartphone when he saw the rescue boat approaching.
“We would have had a hard time locating this boat because of the darkness and location without the SOS signal,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Benson, coxswain of the rescue boat, in a Coast Guard news release.
“As soon as we arrived on scene, we pulled alongside the boat to converse with the people on the boat, and the next thing we knew a woman was handing us her 2-month-old baby through the boat’s window, saying, ‘Save my baby,’ ” Benson said.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Weil helped the 9-year-old boy and the women board the rescue boat; the men followed.
The Coast Guard crew pumped the water out of the stricken craft and towed it to a dock at Niawanda Park.