Coast Guard saves 19-year-old kayaker

kayak rescueCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a 19-year-old man in Nueces Bay after his kayak capsized Tuesday afternoon.

The young man was kayaking approximately 1 mile off the shoreline in the Nueces Bay at approximately 1 p.m. when he capsized. His friends on shore quickly recognized that he was unable to get back in the kayak and was experiencing fatigue as he drifted farther from shore, so they called 9-1-1 and the Corpus Christi Police Dispatch Office contacted the Coast Guard.

Upon notification, Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders immediately diverted an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and launched a response boat from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas. The helicopter crew hoisted him aboard and then transported him to Sector Corpus Christi where he was met by EMS.

“The successful outcome of this case was due to the response and professionalism of all involved, especially the quick coordination from the sector watchstanders relaying the information from the reporting source and arranging EMS to be at the hangar when we landed,” said Lt. Tom Mulder, a pilot aboard the helicopter. “The kayaker was not wearing a life jacket and without the response from friends recognizing the dangerous situation quickly, the results could have been vastly different.”

With the beautiful summer weather and increased recreational boating, the Coast Guard would like to emphasize the use of safe boating practices. Do not overload a boat, have a boating plan and communicate it with friends and family, do not boat under the influence of alcohol, and always wear a life jacket.

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