Coast Guard rescues 6 non-citizens stranded near Port Mansfield, Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued six non-citizens stranded near Port Mansfield, Texas, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders received a call relayed by Willacy County dispatch personnel at 6:42 a.m. from six adult non-citizens stating they were stranded on Padre Island north of the jetties near Port Mansfield. The individuals indicated they were beset by cold weather and in need of medical attention.

Watchstanders directed the launch of MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi.

The Dolphin crew landed nearby and deployed a rescue swimmer to assess the situation. On-scene conditions included winds at about 25-28 mph with gusts up to 40, and an air temperature of 21 degrees.

The helicopter crew took aboard the three non-citizens deemed most in need of medical attention. After transporting the non-citizens to Charles R Johnson Airport in Port Mansfield, the crew returned to retrieve the last three individuals from the island. Emergency medical services and Willacy County Sheriff’s Office personnel assessed all six individuals, then transferred them to U.S. Border Patrol agents for further processing.

The five men and one woman were all reportedly in stable condition at the time of transfer.

“We strongly discourage people from unnecessarily putting their lives and the lives of first responders at risk by needlessly and illegally attempting to enter our country,” said Jose Salazar, Willacy County Sheriff. “Thank you to the Coast Guard for their rapid response and rescue of these six individuals, as well as Willacy County EMS, Port Mansfield Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol for their involvement.”

“During this mission we were simultaneously able to safeguard our border and help people in need,” said Coast Guard Capt. Hans Govertsen, commanding officer, Air Station Corpus Christi. “As always, our connections with our agency partners were crucial to ensuring the safety of these people and the safety of the communities of South Texas. We are proud to work alongside them.”

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