Coast Guard frees 15 from boat on Mich. river

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says an overnight cellphone conversation with a 13-year-old girl led its crews to a grounded pontoon boat carrying 15 people, 13 of them deaf and four lacking medicine for medical conditions.

The Coast Guard says that a commercial salvage boat sought Coast Guard help about 1:15 a.m. Saturday in finding a boat that reported trouble in western Michigan’s Grand River near Grand Haven.

The Coast Guard says its operator in Milwaukee reached the girl aboard the 16-foot pontoon boat.

The Coast Guard says it directed the commercial tow boat to the location, but the water was too shallow for a rescue. So, the Coast Guard crew launched an inflatable ice rescue skiff from shore and shuttled passengers three at a time to the tow boat.

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