Coast Guard crews locate 2 missing divers in Gulf of Mexico

A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew stands with two rescued divers, Dennis Garrett and Robert Holms, after they were located and rescued Saturday, June 27, 2015. Coast Guard crews searched with boats, aircraft and cutters after initial notification that the divers did not return when scheduled. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew stands with two rescued divers after they were located and rescued Saturday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two overdue divers offshore from San Jose Island, Texas, Saturday afternoon.

Two San Antonio men, Dennis Garrett, 51, and Robert Holms, 46, were diving approximately 16 miles off the shoreline of San Jose Island at approximately 10 a.m. when they became noticeably overdue. The captain of the dive boat Reel Excursions contacted the Coast Guard on marine band VHF-16 after growing concerns that they were 40 minutes overdue and could not be found.

Upon notification, Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders immediately diverted an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter, launched a response boat from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas and diverted the Coast Guard Cutters Brant and Steelhead . After a three hour search that included the Coast Guard assets and two additional dive vessels, the helicopter crew finally located the divers 6.2 miles from their last known location. They deployed the rescue swimmer and hoisted them both aboard. They then transported them to Sector Corpus Christi where they were met by EMS as a precautionary measure.

“Our air crew is extremely happy to find these two missing divers and bring them to safety from an unfortunate and dangerous situation,” said Lt. Harry Lehman, one of the pilots on the rescue helicopter. “Credit goes to the two experienced divers who did everything in their power to be noticed and rescued, having the right equipment such as brightly colored flotation devices saved their lives. Our excellent team work with the Station Port Aransas boat crew and sector command center watch standers was instrumental to the positive outcome of this rescue.”

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