Coast Guard rescues man from sinking boat near South Padre Island

America's Heartland Coast Guard NewsBROWNSVILLE, Texas — Coast Guard Station South Padre Island crews rescued a man from his sinking 15-foot jon boat Saturday afternoon approximately 4 miles north of the Queen Isabella Causeway.

A 911 dispatcher called the station around noon and conveyed the man’s wife reported that her husband was sinking and was unsure of his position as his phone died shortly after speaking with him.

“Without a filed float plan of where to expect [the man], it was difficult to find the boat in time before it sank, but we were very fortunate today,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Orlando Rivera, the boat coxswain of the rescue boat. “We cannot stress the importance enough of filing a float plan before going out on the water and having a reliable GPS device along with a marine band radio to call for help if the situation arises. [The man’s] phone died before he could pass his location, and it was just by chance the helicopter spotted him.”

Watchstanders sent crews aboard the station’s 24-foot shallow water response boat and Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi’s MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter. Fortunately, the helicopter crew was able to find the man at approximately 1:45 p.m. The shallow water response boat arrived alongside the sinking vessel shortly afterward to provide assistance. The Coast Guard crew towed the jon boat to Port Isabel.

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