Coast Guard locates 3 missing people in Trinity Bay

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HOUSTON — A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew located and rescued three people from a 16-foot boat in Trinity Bay approximately three miles from Fort Anahuac Park Tuesday night.

“They had a flashlight and a flare that allowed us to locate them almost immediately,” said Lt. Brian Seekatz, one of the helicopter’s pilots. “A signaling device is key, but communications capabilities are also very important. Had they had a working radio or reliable cellphone, we would have known they were in trouble much sooner.”

Three people rescued by the Coast Guard stand with two of their rescuers after being located and recovered from their aground boat in Trinity Bay Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Scott Sanborn.

Three people rescued by the Coast Guard stand with two of their rescuers after being located and recovered from their aground boat in Trinity Bay Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Scott Sanborn.

The daughter of one of the missing people called Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders at approximately 8 p.m., to report that the three were overdue.

Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew that was doing training in the area to respond. A person aboard the boat released a flare and waved a flashlight that allowed the aircrew to locate them.

The rescue swimmer was lowered to the boat where it had run aground on a sandbar. They hoisted two aboard the helicopter, while a third person was picked up nearby after having attempted to walk and get help. All three were transported back to Ellington Field where EMS cleared them of any health problems.

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