Missing fishermen found alive near Freeport, Texas

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard has rescued the two fishermen that went missing off the coast of Freeport, Texas, Wednesday morning.

Aaron Pilcher, one of the missing fishermen, was able to swim to the manned oil rig, Brazos A-52A, and with the help of the rig’s crew called Coast Guard Station Freeport at 3:42 a.m. Philcher reported that their boat had capsized and that Michael Prham, the other fisherman, was still in the water approximately two miles to the northeast of the rig.

At approximately 6 a.m. the Coast Guard patrol boat Amberjack rescued Prahm. A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Corpus Christi hoisted both men and took them to the Brazos County Airport where they were met by family members. Both men were wearing lifejackets.

Pilcher, 29, and Prahm, 27, are residence of Friendswood, Texas.

The Brazos A-52A is located approximately 65 miles southwest of Freeport.

The two fishermen departed the Bridge Bait and Tackle Slip in Freeport Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in a 23-foot Mako boat. Their plan was to go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico near a popular fishing spot, locally known as the 22 1/2 Fathom Lump.

Prior to departing Pilcher called his wife and told her that they had experienced engine trouble but were able to make repairs. He then told her that they were continuing with the fishing trip and expected to return between 5 and 8 p.m. Wednesday evening.

At approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday evening the brother of one of the men contacted a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston, reported that the pair had not returned and are seldom late. The Coast Guard began a search that eventually covered more than 2,000 square miles.

Coast Guard units involved in the search were rescue boats from Station Freeport, helicopters from Air Stations in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, jets from Air Station Corpus Christi, and the patrol boats Amberjack and Skipjack.

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