Coast Guard Rescues Distressed Boaters, Searches for Missing Wade Fishermen

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HOUSTON – Coast Guard crews suspended their search for two missing wade fishermen near the mouth of the Brazos River Sunday afternoon, rescued four with the Galveston Fire Department from a sinking boat near Sea Wolf Park Sunday morning and assisted five people in a disabled boat drifting toward the Sabine Pass jetties Saturday evening.

A bystander watched the two wade fishermen get washed out Saturday and called for help. The Coast Guard began searching by boat and helicopter. Gulf Coast Rescue Squad and Texas Equusearch, both volunteer organizations, have searched as well.

At 5:47 p.m. Saturday, five people aboard a disabled boat waved down a Coast Guard boat for help before they were pushed on the Sabine jetties. A Coast Guard boatcrew in a smaller boat got to them before they hit the jetties. The smaller boat was used due to the shallow water. The boatcrew towed them to safety at the Sabine public boat ramp.

Early Sunday morning, four people on a boat that was taking on water near Sea Wolf Park yelled and waved down a fisherman who called 911 for help. One of the four jumped out of the sinking boat and swam to a buoy. The Galveston Fire Department rescued the three aboard the boat as Coast Guard boat and helicopter crews searched for the other man. The helicopter crew located the missing man and vectored in the boat crew to recover him. He was checked out by Galveston EMS and was reported to be in good condition.

The Coast Guard always cautions boaters, wade fishermen and swimmers to check the weather before heading out on the water. In addition to making sure it’s safe before you head out, make sure you have all the safety gear you need in case of an emergency and let people know where you are going.

The Coast Guard urges everyone to do the following:

  • Check the weather prior to departing the dock
  • Have a marine band radio and visual distress signals aboard
  • Wear a life jacket at all times
  • File a float plan
  • Have a registered 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
  • Have a Personal Locator Beacon
  • Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“If you are going into the water, make sure you wear your lifejacket,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kirstenn Kimmel, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston. “Make sure you are prepared for any weather, anything unexpected. Having any form of communication is imperative. 911 is a direct relay to the Coast Guard.”