A person on the shoreline made an urgent distress call to Coast Guard Station Freeport at 7:42 a.m., reporting that three people were in the water and clutching to overturned kayaks in heavy seas, half a mile off the mouth of the river. A Coast Guard rescue boat crew launched immediately and arrived 16 minutes after the call to find the men in distress and encountering 5 to 6-foot waves.
The rescuers found one person clutching to the side of his kayak and another person aboard a kayak. The boat crew was able to safely recover the men, provide immediate medical care and take them back to the station where EMS was standing by. After recovering the two men, the crew determined the third kayaker had ended up on shore and was treated by EMS. The man clinging to his kayak was treated for mild hypothermia and released.
“There’s no better feeling in the Coast Guard than saving a life,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jamie Bryans, the coxswain of the 29-foot rescue boat. “Complaceny kills. You don’t know when the weather’s going to change and you have to be prepared.”
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston also launched a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 45-foot response boat from Station Freeport before the initial responders located and recovered the men in distress.