Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater off Port O’Connor coast

PORT O’CONNOR, Texas — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a 38-year-old man who was reported missing after his 19-foot fishing boat capsized 17 miles off Port O’Connor on Sunday.

The Coast Guard searched 1,531 miles for a total of 47 hours. The Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Aransas; two HU-25 Falcon jet crews and two HH-65C rescue helicopter crews from Air Station Corpus Christi, and one 41-foot boat from Station Port O’Connor were used during the search effort.

The initial call was received by a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor, May 17, 2009, from a woman reporting that her husband, age 38, and two children, ages 13 and 17, were overdue from a fishing trip.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi later received a call from an offshore oil rig employee reporting that the 19-foot fishing boat with three people on board was taking on water and eventually capsized under the rig. Oil rig workers lowered lines to the children and safely hoisted them onto the rig. A life-ring was lowered for the adult male, but he had reportedly drifted out of sight

The HH-65C rescue helicopter crew landed on the rig and transported the children to Station Port O’Connor. The children were reunited with family upon reaching the station.

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