Coast Guard rescues a missing child and 4 men

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard rescued a 6-year-old boy and four men who went missing in Trinity Bay, Texas Sunday night.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a phone call at 1:39 a.m. today from a Texas Parks and Wildlife officer requesting assistance in a search for a 6-year-old boy and four men in a broken down boat. The family had been in-touch with the boaters, but lost contact with them around 9 p.m. Sunday. The family then contacted TP&W at 10:33 p.m. for assistance.

The Coast Guard launched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Houston and rescue boat crew from Sector Houston/Galveston to join in the search. At dawn a second helicopter crew from Air Station Houston and a rescue boat crew from Station Galveston joined the search, expanding the area to include Galveston Bay north of Texas City and Bolivar, Texas.

At 7:20 a.m. the rescue helicopter crew located a disabled boat with 5 people onboard in Galveston Bay 5 miles south-southeast of Baytown, Texas. A TP&W rescue boat was directed to the scene, and verified the boaters were the missing boaters we were searching for and all were in good condition. The Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene and transported the missing boaters to Cedar Bayou.

“They didn’t have the equipment onboard to signal us,” said Lt j.g. Dakata Brodie, an Air Station Houston helicopter pilot. “It would’ve helped us locate them sooner, they’re fortunate we found them when we did.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to:

  • wear Coast Guard approved life jackets
  • be aware of weather and water conditions
  • never boat or paddle alone
  • file a float plan to let others know where you are going, and make sure they know what to do and who to call in case of an emergency
  • be constantly aware of other vessels in the immediate area
  • be cautious – do not exceed your ability to handle your vessel
  • carry a VHF radio – these radios allow for any boater in your vicinity to hear your call and the signal can be easily traced by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters and paddlers take every opportunity to attend a recreational boating safety course to enhance their navigational skills. Courses are offered through their respective state, with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadrons.  Additional course information is available through the BOAT/U.S. foundation at 1-800-336-BOAT.

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