Coast Guard rescues missing men in Gulf of Mexico

144 Cape CodHOUSTON — Coast Guard crews located and rescued two men after hours of searching about 125 miles southeast of Galveston Saturday.

Rescued were Karl Shram and Chris Bergeron of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston sent Coast Guard cutters, an airplane and a helicopter to search for the men when they used their satellite phone to make a distress call at about 10:30 a.m. They reported their boat was sinking quickly and they were planning to swim to an oil rig nearby.

Later in the day, after hours of searching by plane and helicopter and with Coast Guard patrol boats en route, the men were able to contact family with their satellite phone and set off their Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon, a satellite based distress beacon, which directed a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane to locate them about 60 miles southeast of the Sabine Pass jetties, at 6:28 p.m.

The airplane crew dropped a VHF marine band radio to the men on their 42-foot boat, the Quality Time, and directed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to the men’s position. The helicopter arrived at 6:39 p.m. and the crew dropped off a pump and rescue swimmer to help the men dewater their sinking boat. They stayed with them until the Coast Guard Cutter Manta arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Shram was showing signs of dehydration and was medevaced by the helicopter crew to Scholes International Airport in Galveston, where they were met by EMS.

Bergeron and the Coast Guard Cutter Manta crew were able to get the flooding under control.

The Coast Guard Cutter Pompano arrived shortly after that and began escorting the Quality Time toward Cameron, Louisiana.

The Pompano and Manta are Texas based 87-foot patrol boats. Pompano is homeported in Sabine Pass and Manta is homeported in Freeport. The Dolphin helicopter crew is based at Air Station Houston and the Ocean Sentry aircrew is out of Air Station Corpus Christi.

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