Coast Guard assists three fishermen in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard assisted three fishermen approximately 30 mile off the coast from Freeport after their vessel was disabled, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Sector Houston-Galveston initially received an uncorrelated mayday at approximate 5:40 p.m. from the crew on board a fishing vessel needing immediate assistance. Watchstanders utilized the Rescue 21 system to provide a line of bearing and configured a search pattern from the coordinates. An Air Station Houston MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew were immediately launched to the search area.

Approximately 2-hours later, watchstanders received a call from a woman reporting her husband and two others onboard a fishing vessel were one hour overdue from a fishing trip. The men had left at 6 a.m. and were scheduled to return at 6 p.m. The fishing vessel was described as being approximately 20-21 feet in length, white, with a blue top. She also relayed that the men were headed to Tall Rocks, which is approximately 30-miles offshore. Later, another family member was able to provide the exact coordinates for the specific location.

While in the air, the rescue helicopter crew recognized the close proximity of the two locations provided and determined the uncorrelated mayday and the overdue call were the same case. The helicopter rescue crew discovered the disabled fishing vessel in the vicinity of the search coordinates.

“We pieced it all together in the air. Once we arrived on scene a man on board began to flash what appeared to be a red spotlight and as we flew overhead they all began waving shirts over their heads to attract our attention,” said Lt. Mike Cagle, Air Station Houston pilot.

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