Coast Guard, good Samaritan vessel rescue 5 from sinking fishing vessel

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry file photo by Aux. Michael Dubin

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry file photo by Aux. Michael Dubin

HOUSTON, Texas — The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel rescued 5 people Tuesday after their fishing vessel began taking on water and sinking approximately 180 miles south of Sabine Pass, Texas.

Coast Guard 8th District command center watchstanders received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert at 10:12 p.m. registered to the 69-foot fishing vessel Miss Lena plotting approximately 180 miles south of Sabine Pass. Watchstanders also received an InReach text from a neighboring vessel stating the Miss Lena is taking on water and sinking.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders quickly issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew while a Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew diverted to assist. The fishing vessel Morning Star, a sister ship, was 15 nautical miles away from the last known position of the Miss Lena and diverted to assist as well.

The Ocean Sentry aircraft crew arrived on scene and deployed a liferaft as the five crewmembers were abandoning ship.

All five crewmembers safely embarked the liferaft and were safely recovered by the Morning Star.

A fishery observer from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aboard the Morning Star assisted in relaying critical communications to the Coast Guard during the rescue.

No injuries were reported.

“Having the proper emergency equipment onboard made a vast difference in helping our aircrew quickly locate and render assistance to the crewmembers in distress,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ian Murray, command duty officer. “We thank our network of assisting organizations, including NOAA, and mariners, who were essential in the crewmembers safe recovery.”

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