Coast Guard rescues family of 6 from sinking sailboat near Freeport, Texas

A Coast Guard Station Freeport boat crew arrives to the 40-foot sailboat Providence at about 2 a.m., after receiving a Mayday call about the boat taking on water 4 miles northeast of Freeport, Texas, Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Surles.

A Coast Guard Station Freeport boat crew arrives to the 40-foot sailboat Providence at about 2 a.m. Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Surles.

HOUSTON — A Coast Guard boat crew came to the rescue about 4 miles northeast of the Freeport jetties, dewatering a sinking sailboat with a family of six aboard, and towing them to safety early Sunday morning.

Coast Guard Station Freeport crews rushed to help after getting a Mayday call from the 40-foot sailboat Providence at about 1 a.m., stating that they were taking on water. The family reported striking a large submerged tree, which caused the engine boot seal to fail. The onboard bilge could not keep up with the flooding.

The Station Freeport boat crew towed them back to Old River City Marina in Freeport and are staying with the boat and dewatering pump until TowBoat US can take it somewhere to get pulled out of the water. They anticipate TowBoat US to arrive later in the morning.

The family is out of Norman, Oklahoma, and departed from Galveston, where the boat is kept. The family included a father, mother, three daughters and the youngest child was the only minor, a 17-year-old son.

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