Coast Guard suspends search for fisherman off South Padre Island

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry sits at the ready to respond to Tropical Storm Hanna at Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, July 24, 2020. The Coast Guard is pre-staging response assets in the Gulf Coast region due to a forecast of a tropical storm and possible hurricane. (U.S Coast Guard photo)

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry at Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi. (U.S Coast Guard file photo)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday for a 35-year-old fisherman who went missing off South Padre Island, Texas, Saturday.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 1,903 square miles for over 32 combined hours.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a call at 5 a.m. Saturday on VHF-FM channel 16 from the master of the 65-foot commercial fishing vessel Santa Fe stating one of his crew members was missing 35 miles offshore Land Cut. The man was reportedly not wearing a life jacket at the time of his disappearance.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement boat crew to search for the fisherman. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Manta also joined in the search.

“After exhaustively combing the search area with multiple air and on-water crews, we made the difficult decision to suspend our search for this missing fisherman,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Josuah Chears-Stevens, command duty officer, Sector Corpus Christi. “We would like to express our deepest sympathies to this man’s family and friends.”

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