OSWEGO, NY – Just after 7 p.m. on Monday (April 13), the Oswego Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard Station Oswego as well as the SUNY Oswego University Police, the Oswego Town Fire Department and Border Patrol responded to a vessel in distress on Lake Ontario between Rudy’s Lakeside Restaurant and the Penfield Library.
Four young adults set sail from near Rudy’s aboard an inflatable raft and became unable to control it and were floating in an eastward direction approximately one mile off shore.
Responders were able to reach the raft where the four were placed on the Coast Guard boat and transported to land.
There were no injuries, according to Oswego Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie.
“ The fact that these four set off in an inflatable raft on Lake Ontario with the water temperature in the mid 30s makes no sense. Add to the fact that there were no life jackets on them or on board, as well as the anticipated cold front and increased winds, I would consider them extremely lucky,” McCrobie said.
Someone on shore spotted them and called 911.
If not for that, the outcome could have been tragic, the chief said.
“People not familiar with the area need to consider all factors such as water temperature, rapidly changing conditions of the Great Lakes, as well as all rules and laws pertaining to personal floatation devices,” McCrobie said. “All considered, this was a recipe for disaster and while the outcome was positive, we want to remind all people of the dangers of Lake Ontario as well as the Oswego River.”