Coast Guard Auxiliary rescues disabled vessel south of Harpers Ferry

Sunday, July 28 a quiet family outing on the Mississippi River in their new boat suddenly became a rescue operation for the Coast Guard Auxiliary when the vessel suffered an engine failure leaving her at the mercy of the strong current just south of Harpers Ferry on the Wisconsin side of the river. The vessel, a 24-foot pontoon with eight adults and five young children aboard was being pushed by the swift current into the trees of island number166, which is located just a bit south of Nobles Landing near Harpers Ferry and was submerged by high water.

A close and approaching barge added to the severity of the situation. The wake of the barge would have likely pushed the vessel against the trees, which could have proven even more troublesome.

The distressed vessel was discovered at 3:30 p.m. by the patrolling Prairie du Chien, WI-based Coast Guard Auxiliary facility Kaylee-Annie. The crew of the Kaylee-Annie was able to get a line to the distressed vessel and pull her away from the trees and back into the channel.

The Auxiliarists then towed the vessel to safety and to the French Village landing, which is located on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River nearly directly east of Nobles Landing. There were no injuries in this incident and Coast Guard Auxiliary officials report that one young lady was pleased to get away from the spiders that were dropping from the trees.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, visit

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