Coast Guard assists family of 4 to safety near Port Mansfield, Texas

D8 LogoCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued a family of four, including two young children, aboard a grounded recreational boat near Port Mansfield, Texas, Monday evening.

At approximately 4 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Station South Padre Island received a distress call from a family, via cell phone, stating that they had been underway in the channel on the west side of the Mansfield Cut and were pushed onto the flats by a gust of wind and were grounded. Meanwhile, due to a severe weather front, air temperatures plummeted 25 degrees over a period of two hours.

Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and diverted an aircrew aboard an HC-144 Ocean Sentry, who helped direct the helicopter to the vessel’s location and provided up-to-date weather reports that aided in the rescue efforts.

The helicopter arrived on scene and the rescue swimmer was lowered to the boat to assess the survivors’ condition. The two children were showing signs of hypothermia and the two adults were very cold from air temperatures at 42 degrees Fahrenheit and the 30 knot gusts of wind. Due to needed medical attention, the swimmer, assisted by the father, was able to walk the rest of the family to an island where the helicopter was able to land. The aircrew quickly brought them aboard. They were transported to Port Mansfield airport where EMS was waiting.

“Anytime children are exposed to the elements and in danger, we know time is of the essence to get on-scene quickly,” said Lt. Eric Vryheid, one of the helicopter pilots. “Credit goes to the parents who called the Coast Guard when the situation started to deteriorate. This time of year, being unprepared for the weather and water conditions can often lead to disaster. Fishing and boating can be great fun, but boaters should always check the weather report prior to departing.”

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