Coast Guard assists fishing vessel taking on water off Galveston

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 a sailing vessel that began taking on water with one person aboard approximately 35 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, Monday.

At approximately 11 a.m., a vessel operator contacted Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report their vessel was taking on water and in need of assistance.

The Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center quickly issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Houston, HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi, and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Station Galveston.

The helicopter aircrew arrived on scene and assessed the sailing vessel had over two-feet of water onboard. In an effort to dewater the sailing vessel, the helicopter crew lowered a dewatering pump to the sailing vessel. In addition, the Station Galveston boat crew also assisted in dewatering the vessel. Once all flooding was secured and the vessel was stable, the Station Galveston boat crew safely towed the sailing vessel to the Galveston Yacht Basin.

“This is a good example of the importance of effective radio communication, and in this case likely to have saved a life,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ian Murray, Sector Houston–Galveston’s search and rescue mission coordinator. “A VHF marine radio is the single most important communication equipment mariners within a few miles of shore should have, routinely test, and be familiar operating.”

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