By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Helen Brown
Responding to a U.S. Coast Guard initiated call for assistance to a mariner-in-distress in Winthrop Harbor, two Reserve ACU-1 boat teams were able to provide initial medical response and assistance returning the vessel to shore.
While conducting Utility Boat training during their unit drill weekend, the crews were able to locate the distressed vessel and upon arriving on scene found the two civilians aboard the craft bailing out water.
“I felt that my crew and I were fully prepared to handle this emergency,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Prudence Crossman, a Full-Time Support (FTS) Sailor assigned to NOSC Great Lakes, who assisted in caring for one of the injured crew members. “This event clearly showed our capabilities and our continued support to the mariners of Lake Michigan."
Despite the civilian vessel having few tie-down spots, Crossman was able to properly attach lines to allow the ACU-1 boat to tow the distressed crew the three nautical miles back to shore.
According to Crossman, her ACU-1 unit had just completed training on utility boat training and man-overboard scenarios. “Every training, every drill, every repeated training evolution prepared my crew and I for a real-world situation,” she said.
ACU-1 Great Lakes Sailors train on the waters of Lake Michigan to be prepared for active-duty deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism as well as anti-piracy patrols, visit-board-search and seizure operations, oil platform defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.