HENDERSON HARBOR — Two teens were rescued by Coast Guard crews Saturday night after their sailboat overturned Saturday evening on choppy waters near Bass Island.
Crews responded to help the unidentified pair from Syracuse, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, just before 6 p.m.
Chief Petty Officer Joshua L. Martin, who oversees the Sackets Harbor Coast Guard Auxiliary, said the two were floating for about an hour when a waterproof floating phone case surfaced from their vessel, giving them the ability to call for help.
After unsuccessfully searching at Gull Island, based on the teens’ description of their location, crews moved to Bass Island, where the overturned boat and the teens were found.
At the time, Chief Petty Officer Martin said, there were 6-foot seas and 20-knot winds.
The teens were returned to Sackets Harbor with only minor bruises and cuts and released to one of the their parents. Their boat, which sustained a broken mast and shredded sails, was towed in for salvaging.
The key to the teens’ survival, Chief Petty Officer Martin said, was that they had their life vests on when their vessel overturned, and they stayed with their boat.
“With the current sea state and winds, they would have had a very small chance of survival,” he said, in a message to the Times.