Coast Guard Assists Crew of Disabled Tug

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The Coast Guard rescued five people on a disabled tug boat approximately five miles South of the South Padre Island jetties last night.

A Coast Guard crew from Station South Padre Island took the boat in tow after the tug boat Kathleen’s five crewmembers radioed for help. The tug crew told the Coast Guard that their pilothouse windows had been smashed in by heavy waves, they had lost all engine control and were losing electrical power as well.

The Coast Guard Station had two small boat crews underway conducting training when the call came in around 7:40 p.m. and diverted a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew to the scene. The rescue crew arrived at the Kathleen at 8:20 p.m. and towed the tug to the Banana Docks in Port Isabelle, Texas, arriving at 2:30 a.m. this morning.

One of the crewman onboard the Kathleen was injured by the breaking glass and received stitches. No other injuries were reported.

On scene conditions made the rescue extremely dangerous and also made the towing very slow. Waves were 14 to 16 feet high with occasional 18 footers and winds were in excess of 20 m.p.h.

An HH-65B Dolphin helicopter crew was also dispatched from Air Station Corpus Christi to assist but returned to Corpus Christi after a short time on scene.

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