Coast Guard medevacs 38-year-old man north of Mansfield Jetties

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued a 38-year-old man, Saturday, whose boat became disabled 10 miles north of the Mansfield Jetties.

At approximately 11 p.m., Friday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a distress call from a man on VHF Channel 16 stating he was experiencing medical issues and that two friends boating with him had swam to shore to look for help and had not returned.

A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) were launched to provide assistance.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene and located the vessel with the man aboard. A rescue swimmer was lowered from the helicopter to the man and assessed his medical condition, which was stable. The man was then taken to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi where he was assessed by EMS crews and released. Afterwards, the crew of the rescue helicopter commenced a search for the two friends.

The two friends who were eventually able to get cell phone reception and call a friend who picked them up in a boat.

“We’re very happy that all three men are back home safely with their families,” said Lt. Cdr. Nathan Allen, the search and rescue mission coordinator from Sector Corpus Christi. “The VHF radio which allowed the man to call for help may have saved his life. We cannot stress enough the importance of proper boating safety equipment.”

The Coast Guard, other first responder agencies and fellow mariners monitor channel 16 24/7, which increases the number of people who can respond.

“Radios are better than cell phones because their signals can assist in locating people in distress,” said Ed Huntsman, boating safety program manager for the 8th Coast Guard District. “Though a cell phone is better than no communication device at all, cell phones tend to have gaps in coverage while on the water, plus limited battery life. Many VHF radios are now water resistant and some are even waterproof.”

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