Coast Guard rescues two people on personal watercraft

Coast Guard 8th District NewsSOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued two people late Tuesday night in the vicinity of Laguna Madre.

A concerned citizen contacted the Coast Guard just after 10 p.m. Tuesday night and reported that two of his friends had not returned from a trip on their personal watercraft.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, and the Calhoun Country Constables confirmed the missing persons’ vehicle was still at the marina. A Response Boat-Small and crew from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island was launched to conduct a search in the Laguna Madre area. An HU-25 Falcon Jet and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi were diverted during a training flight to assist in the search.

The Falcon located the personal watercraft and informed the RBS of its position. The boat crew arrived on scene and placed the watercraft in tow at approximately 11:40 p.m. The Coast Guard transported the two persons back to the boat ramp.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners to always file an accurate float plan with a friend or family member and to have the proper safety and survival gear, to include a VHF-Marine band radio and signaling devices.

“We were fortunately able to locate them using the aircraft’s infrared camera, though we could have provided assistance much quicker had they used a radio or flare” said Petty Officer Second Class Kash Bhimrao, the Falcon’s sensor system operator.

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