Coast Guard assists 4 aboard tugboat near Freeport, Texas

Coast Guard Station Port O'Connor 29-foot Response Boat–Small file photo.

Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat–Small file photo.

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard assisted four people aboard a tugboat taking on water in the Intracoastal Waterway near Freeport, Texas, Sunday.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received a phone call at 6:02 a.m. from the captain of the 52-foot tugboat Captain Mark stating the vessel was taking on water near the Brazos River Flood Gates while pushing two equipment barges. All four crewmen aboard the tugboat were wearing life jackets.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a 29-foot Response Boat–Small crew from Station Freeport to assist.

The RB–S crew arrived on scene and transferred personnel to the tugboat with a dewatering pump. Additionally, a good Samaritan aboard a nearby vessel arrived, passed over personnel and a pump, and assisted the Coast Guard crew in dewatering the tugboat.

The tugboat captain reported plans to pass off the two barges; a partner tugboat will tow the Captain Mark ashore to Dickinson Bayou.

“The crew of the Captain Mark did exactly as we recommend in an emergency: they donned life jackets and immediately called for help,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Trish Elliston, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “We would also like to commend the good Samaritan who volunteered an extra dewatering pump and a helping hand. Their actions helped minimize the dangers of the situation even faster.”

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