Coast Guard rescues father, 2 sons from disabled boat near Corpus Christi

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CORPUS CHRISTI – A father and his two sons were rescued Sunday, after their boat stopped working 25 miles south of Corpus Christi in the Laguna Madre.

The man’s wife contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi at approximately 12 a.m., stating that her husband, two sons and two friends were five hours overdue, the 17-foot boat they were in had a broken bilge pump and they were fishing offshore.

Watchstanders launched an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and a boatcrew aboard a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas.

The helicopter rescue crew located the disabled boat at approximately 3 a.m. The family was hoisted and transferred to Air Station Corpus Christi where they were left in their wife’s care. The two friends stayed with the boat to assist with getting it towed back to shore.

“We are very thankful our helicopter crew was able to find the boat and bring the father and his sons back safely,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brett Freels, acting air operations officer for Air Station Corpus Christi.  “It was a dark night, a large search area, and the boat was not where it was expected to be.  The boat’s crew did not have a marine band radio, any position reporting devices, or flares, and they were out of range for their cell phone to work.

“Please take the time to file a float plan with someone and update it if your plans change as there are just too many facts that need to be accurately remembered and ultimately conveyed in an emergency situation,” said Freels. “Also realize that many popular fishing areas are out of cell phone range, and having a simple VHF Marine Band radio may be your only means of communication in an emergency.”

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters and mariners to do the following before heading out on the water:

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