Coast Guard, local responders rescue 2 near Packery Channel

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard helicopter crew and the Flour Bluff Fire Department rescued two people who ran aground on their jet ski near Packery Channel this evening.

At approximately 7 p.m. Sunday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a phone call from a man and woman who ran their jet ski aground near Packery Channel. With air and water temperatures dropping and the potential for hypothermia to set in, the watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew aboard a MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter.

The rescue helicopter located the jet ski between the Inner Coastal Waterway and Mustang Island, just west of Fish Pass. Once the rescue helicopter arrived on scene, the rescue swimmer was immediately lowered to assess the condition of the two people. Meanwhile, the air crew on the helicopter vectored in the Flour Bluff Fire Department rescue boats toward the grounded jet ski.

The rescue boats were unable to reach the grounded jet ski due to the shallow water, so the Coast Guard rescue swimmer assisted the two persons to the awaiting rescue boats about 100 yards away. The two individuals were taken by the rescue boat to the Billings Bait Camp where they were treated on scene by EMS and released.

“The efficient and successful outcome of this case is due largely to the professionalism of our watchstanders, the Flour Bluff Fire Department and our crew,” said Lt. Eric Vryheid, MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter pilot. “Our regular training with the Flour Bluff Fire Department mitigated a potentially hazardous situation. I am glad we were able to locate the two individuals quickly and remove them from the unsafe situation.”

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