Coast Guard, good Samaritan assist 6 from sinking boat near Freeport, Texas

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan assisted in the rescue of six people from a sinking vessel approximately 22 miles south of Freeport, Texas, Tuesday night.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a radio call from the captain of a 25-foot catamaran with six people aboard reporting his vessel was taking on water after it lost power. Watchstanders sent out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, including the vessel’s location, and requested that the captain activate his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

Two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Houston were launched along with a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Freeport. An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi conducting routine operations in the area was diverted to assist, along with a good Samaritan in the vicinity who responded to the UMIB.

The good Samaritan arrived on scene and transferred all six people off the sinking vessel, and proceeded to transport them to Station Freeport. All six people were wearing lifejackets.

“Preparation is key on the water, and the fact that the boat had a good working VHF radio and an EPIRB led us straight to them,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Woods, Sector Houston-Galveston watchstander. “And in the worst case, had the vessel sank, there were enough life jackets for everyone, which is incredibly important when you are this far from shore.”

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