Coast Guard assists disabled boat 56 miles offshore Freeport, Texas

Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams

Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard assisted six people on a 32-foot boat approximately 56 miles offshore Freeport, Texas, Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a notification at 12:30 p.m. Saturday of a disabled and adrift boat with six people aboard approximately 30 miles offshore Freeport. The reporting source was a friend who had communications with the disabled boat through a two-way satellite communicator.

Watchstanders were unable to establish communications with the disabled boat and directed the launch of a Station Freeport 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew to the boat’s last known position.

Once on scene, the RB-M crew was unable to locate the boat and commenced searching the area. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to assist in the search.

The Coast Guard contacted the communicator device manufacturer directly to assist and successfully located the boat approximately 17 miles from its last known position.

The boat’s position was quickly passed to the Dolphin crew who located it 56 miles offshore.

The RB-M crew was vectored to the position, evaluated the passengers for medical concerns, and towed the disabled boat to Bridge Bait in Freeport, Texas.

No injuries were reported.

“Having the two-way satellite communicator onboard with a friend monitoring shore side made a vast difference in helping our aircrew and surface asset quickly locate and render assistance to those stranded on the disabled boat 56 miles offshore with inclement weather heading to the area,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ian Murray, search and rescue mission coordinator.

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