Good Samaritan rescues 3 from capsized boat in Galveston Bay Entrance Channel

America's Heartland Coast Guard News
HOUSTON — A good Samaritan and a Coast Guard boatcrew medevaced three people after a boat capsized in the Galveston Bay Entrance Channel, Saturday.

A good Samaritan contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at 8:34 a.m., reporting that a 21-foot powerboat had capsized, leaving three people in the water.

“I heard some hollering. I thought they had just caught a big fish or something,” said Adolph Postel, the good Samaritan charter fishing captain. “I turned around. The boat had flipped over and they were all in the water.”

The Coast Guard launched crews aboard a 25-foot Response Boat — Small from Coast Guard Station Galveston and an MH-65D Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Houston.

When the response boat arrived on scene, Postel had taken all three of the distressed people aboard his boat. One survivor reported having a broken leg. The response-boat crew brought two of the three people aboard and the two boats brought the three survivors back to Station Galveston where local EMS was standing by.

“It was an adventurous morning,” said Postel. “We’re just glad everyone’s okay.”

“Mr. Postel honored an ancient code among sailors, that you do everything in your power to help someone in trouble and at the mercy of the sea,” said Lt. Spencer Roach, the command duty officer of Sector Houston-Galveston. “His quick response led to a happy ending and we are grateful that he was in the right place at the right time.”

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Spero says:

    Saturday I and 2 friends went out to the Galveston Jetties to catch some bull reds. The wind wasn’t too bad a little over 10 MPH from the East. The gulf was still pretty churned up from the high winds on Friday. The South Jetty did not provide any protection from the East wind. We went around the end of the Jetty into the gulf. It was a little bit dicey but not too bad. No white caps but constant 4 ft to 5 ft swells. There were maybe 10 boats out there mostly on the Gulf side. We anchored about 100 yards off the Jetty and about 100 yards West of the end. We had caught a few reds when my buddy noticed what looked like a boat upside down on the rocks about ½ mile from us. We hadn’t noticed that earlier. It was an excessively high tide and only a small amount of the Jetty rocks were visible above water. As we looked we saw someone in the water or partially on the rocks waving their arms. There were several boats much closer than us but no one seemed to have noticed. We realized this fellow was in real trouble. We pulled in the lines and called 911. We were told the Sheriff’s Department was aware of the situation and the Coast Guard was in route. As we started to pull up our anchor and go help we saw a boat on the Channel side of the jetty going to help that was much closer and then saw the Coast Guard RIB approaching. We watched as the first boat got close and was throwing a ring life preserver. We decided that the situation was under control and we did not want to get in the way of the professionals. The CC boat and the responding boat apparently retrieved the 1 person we saw. A few minutes later a Coast Guard helicopter came and circled. We couldn’t see much at that distance but after about 10 minutes the first responding boat and the CC boat left. Later back at the Galveston Yacht Basin ramp the Coast Guard was loading their RIB onto a trailer and I talked to the crew. There were actually 3 men in the boat. Apparently they had anchored (possibly from the stern as the CC crewman stated) and a large wave filled their boat and then it capsized. None of the survivors had on life vests, either they didn’t have any or there was not enough time to get one. They were very lucky. There was no way I could have gotten quickly and safely around the end of the jetty to the channel side and if I had gone to the Gulf side I could not have helped from that location.
    It’s a good reminder to always be prepared for the worse. It was interesting that back at the ramp, 2 Sherriff’s Deputies arrived about 1:30pm and started checking boats for safety gear. I was totally in compliance when they checked but I did see them give out several citations to other boats.

    We are thankful that the Coast Guard responded so quickly, that there was a nearby boat willing to go to the boaters aid and that all the victims survived. It was certainly a reminder that when on the water you have to be prepared and be aware of everything happening around you.

    Thank you Coast Guard for being there for all mariners.

  2. Captain Adolph Postel says:

    I was the other boat on the channel side. I heard the hollering and when I finally saw that there was a capsized boat and three people in the water, I hailed the USCG, via my VHF radio. As I informed them of the situation, I pulled anchor and was making way towards the scene. As I got closer, maybe 20 yds. away, I informed the men that I had already called the Coast Guard and they were on their way. That is when they were crying for help, stating that one of the men had a broken leg. I knew at that point that there was no option to wait, as the huge swells were pummeling them on the jetty rocks, and the boat had the men pinned between it and the jetty rocks. They were being violently thrashed against the rocks by the swells and the boat. They were screaming for help, and you are correct, not one other boat responded. It was at that time that I grabbed my life buoy and used a 25′ dock line to loop around it, I nosed into the rocks as close as I could, and I had my customer throw them the life ring. Two of the men, including the one with the broken leg, grabbed onto the life ring, I reversed away from the rocks, and my customer pulled them to my boat. Once at the boat, we struggled to get the two men in, but we managed to pull both of them in. I then went back to retrieve the third man that was still on the rocks. Obviously he saw how we retrieved the first two men, so he followed suit. We were able to retrieve him and get him in the boat as well. That is when we moved towards the middle of the channel and tied up to the USCG boat and transferred two of the able bodied men over to them. The third man with the broken leg stayed in my boat, as I offered to follow them back to the Coast Guard station, where Emergency Medical Staff was waiting. One of the USCG guys rode back with us, and had his medical equipment to help stabilize the man. We got back to the USCG Station, and there was medical personnel and several officers to assist us and to help get the man off my boat. I am very thankful that my experience, training and quick thinking allowed us to help get these men out of harms way. They were no match for the solid 5 foot swells that were violently thrashing them around on the jetty rocks. Once stable and on land, all three of the gentlemen thanked me profusely for helping them. I told them, I was just doing the right thing. It could happen to any of us……