Coast Guard rescues 2 in Corpus Christi Bay

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard crews searched and located a man after he entered the water Sunday afternoon in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, and drifted away from his sailboat and girlfriend, who could not fully control the boat to retrieve him.

At approximately 4 p.m., Coast Guard Station Port Aransas received a phone call from a woman saying her boyfriend had jumped off of their sailboat to retrieve the boat’s front bow hatch cover that had fallen into the water. She was unsure of her exact location in the bay.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi launched a crew aboard a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas and an aircrew in a Sector Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter. Sector watch standers also requested San Patricio County Sheriffs and the Ingleside Police Department conduct searches of the northern shore of Corpus Christi Bay.

The rescue helicopter and response boat quickly located the sailboat. The response boat arrived on alongside at 5 p.m. and helped the woman safely anchor the sailboat and brought her onto the response boat. Both the helicopter and response boat then began searching Corpus Christi Bay for the person in the water.

At 6:15 p.m., a crewmember on the response boat spotted the man clinging to the hatch cover and recovered him from the water with no injuries.

“We were quickly able to locate and come alongside the sailboat. One of my crewmembers went on board to help bring down the sails and safely anchor the boat outside of the shipping channel,” said Petty Officer Chad Eakin, the coxswain of the response boat. “After searching for an hour, my junior crewmember, spotted the man in the water clinging to the hatch cover and we pulled him onboard. It is never a good idea to jump overboard from your boat, especially since both boaters were not wearing life jackets. Had he been wearing a life jacket, the search would have been much shorter. We are extremely happy to be able help these two boaters and bring them to safety.”

The man was taken back to his sailing vessel and escorted into Ingleside. The Coast Guard would like to emphasize the use of safe boating practices. Always carry a marine VHF radio capable of calling for help, have a boating plan and communicate it with friends and family, do not boat under the influence, and always have enough life jackets for everyone onboard.

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