Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 4 adults, 1 child from sinking sailboat

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard and Good Samaritans rescued a child and four adults from their sinking sailboat 12 miles off Port Mansfield, Texas, Friday.

At approximately 10 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center received a distress call from the sailboat 12 miles offshore and 38 miles North of South Padre Island. After weather conditions began deteriorating, the 34-foot sailing vessel Sea Gal was taking on water and sinking.

Four adults and 1 child who were rescued by Good Samaratians and the Coast Guard, stand on the Tug boat Signet Challenger after being pulled off their sinking sailing vessel, Sept. 12. U.S. Coast Gaurd photo.

Four adults and 1 child who were rescued by Good Samaratians and the Coast Guard, stand on the Tug boat Signet Challenger after being pulled off their sinking sailing vessel, Sept. 12. U.S. Coast Gaurd photo.

The watchstanders launched a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island, diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant operating offshore, and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast. The watchstanders made radio calls to three commercial vessels requesting assistance who immediately responded. The Tug Signet Challenger reached the Sea Gal at approximately 10:30 p.m. and established contact with the disabled sailing vessel. Offshore oil rig supply vessels Evelyn M and Sophie M arrived shortly after. The Sophie M came alongside the Sea Gal and removed all of the sailing vessels occupants, bringing them to safety.

“The Coast Guard is often the maritime first responder,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Allen, the search and rescue mission coordinator for this case. “But often times, vessels able to respond the fastest to an emergency are others nearby. We thank the crews of the three responding vessels, their fast action saved the lives of five people and we hope their example will inspire others to do render assistance in the future.”

The Sea Gal sank shortly after the five people were removed. The Coast Guard response boat met the Sophie M and escorted the vessel into Port Isabel, Texas.

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2 Comments

  1. Capt.T.DeForest says:

    The vessel the rescued victims are standing on in the picture is the SOPHIE M. crew boat owned by Merkewits, Freeport, Texas .
    The SIGNET CHALLENGER was the first to respond but when the SOPHIE M. arived I made the decision that the crew vessel was better suited to rescue the people from the tiny sail boat.
    The crew and master of the SOPHIE M. did an outstanding job and deserve honorable mention.

  2. Stacy Stanley says:

    The crew boat is actually owed Muchowich Offshore Oil Services, Inc. We are very proud of our crew. Thanks for the honorable mention Capt DeForest