Coast Guard Air Station Houston rescues 2 sailors off Galveston Jetties

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HOUSTON — Two men were rescued off the Galveston Jetties by a Coast Guard aircrew after their sailboat became lodged on the rocks Monday morning.

The men aboard the sailboat French Kiss, called Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston watchstanders at 6:05 a.m. and reported they had run aground at the tip of the south jetty. Coast Guard Station Galveston boatcrews arrived at about 6:45 a.m., but were unable to rescue the men since they were on the rocks.

The watchstanders deployed a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew, which arrived on scene at 7:41 a.m. They were able to hoist both the men off the rocks and deliver them to an awaiting EMS crew at Scholes International Airport. One of the men was treated for minor injuries by EMS and they were released.

The sailboat drifted off the rocks and began sinking. It came to rest on the bottom just after 9 a.m., about 250 yards south of the north jetty at position 29°20’37.4″N 94°40’54.4″W. The mast is sticking out of the water about 10 feet, but it is outside the ship channel.

“We were only on scene about 20 minutes,” said Lt. Erin Gill, a pilot aboard the rescue helicopter. “When we got there it was on one side of the jetty on the rocks and by the time we left it had washed over the jetties and was sinking on the other side. There was no way to safely put the swimmer on the boat. The only way to effect the rescue was to get them in the water.”

“The men donned lifejackets, stayed with their boat and reached out for help early,” said Gill.

The weather conditions included 6-foot seas and 30 knot winds.

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