Coast Guard suspends search for missing shrimp boat crewmember in Gulf of Mexico

Coast Guard Cutter Manowar

USCG File Photo

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico, at 6 p.m., Friday.

Arturo Hernandez of Brownsville went missing Thursday morning after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a mayday call via the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system from the crew of the Mario Arturo II, reporting the vessel was taking on water. The boat eventually sank, forcing Hernandez and three crewmembers into the water. Three of the crewmembers were rescued by an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston, and medevaced to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Coast Guard assets searched more than 246,000 miles, which is a search area greater than the state of Texas.

The Coast Guard Cutter Manowar remained on scene throughout Thursday night and today searching for Hernandez. A Dolphin helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston, a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium and crew from Coast Guard Station Galveston, and an HU-25 Falcon jet and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi continued to search for Hernandez this morning.

“We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of Arturo Hernandez,” said Capt. James Whitehead, deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston. “After an extensive search and due to the low water temperatures, we feel that the probability of survival is low. At this time we are suspending our active search, pending further developments,” he said.

The investigation into the sinking of the vessel is ongoing.

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