Coast Guard rescues 3 adults, 1 child from aground vessel in Intracoastal Waterway

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued four people including a 10 year-old-boy who ran aground on their recreational boat just north of the Arroyo Colorado late Tuesday.

At approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi received a phone call from a Good Samaritan reporting a single red flare sighting, a signal of distress, in the Intracoastal Waterway just North of the Arroyo Colorado River. The watchstanders launched a Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew aboard a MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and diverted a Station South Padre Island boatcrew aboard a 33-foot response boat to conduct a search for distressed mariners. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also launched an airboat to assist in the search.

The rescue helicopter was able to locate the distressed vessel despite low visibility. Once the rescue helicopter arrived on scene, the rescue swimmer was immediately lowered to assess the condition of the four people. The individuals had been lost for three hours without any warm clothing and with air temperatures rapidly dropping. The aircrew took the people onboard the rescue helicopter and transferred them to the Mansfield airport where they were treated on scene by EMS and released.

“The successful outcome of this case is due largely to the professionalism of our watch standers, our crew, and the Good Samaritan,” said Lt. Thomas Mulder, MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter pilot. “Because the Good Samaritan reported the red flare both with accuracy and immediacy, the four individuals were able to be located quickly, mitigating a potentially dangerous situation. I am glad we were able to locate and bring the four individuals to safety.”

The Coast Guard would like to emphasize the use of safe boating practices. Always carry a marine VHF radio capable of calling for help, have a boating plan and communicate it with friends and family, do not boat under the influence, and always have enough life jackets for everyone onboard.

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