Coast Guard suspends search for three overdue boaters in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard suspended its search for three missing boaters off the Matagorda coast in the Gulf of Mexico, Friday, at approximately 10 a.m. While the active search is suspended pending any further developments, the case remains open.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved in this case. It was a difficult decision to make,” said Capt. James Whitehead, deputy commander for Sector Houston-Galveston. “We ask anyone who has any information or spots anything that may be related to this case to please contact the Sector Houston-Galveston command center at (713) 678-9057.”

The Coast Guard has searched approximately 86,000 square miles during this search and rescue case, which is roughly the size of Minnesota.

Watchstanders at Sector Houston-Galveston initially received a call Saturday from the Matagorda Police Department, reporting Curtis Hall, age 28, from Palacios; James Phillips, age 30, from Blessing; and Tressel Hawkins, age 43, from Markham; overdue from a fishing trip. The men were scheduled to return home at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The following Coast Guard assets have joined in the search and rescue effort:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Manowar, homeported in Galveston
  • Coast Guard Cutter Heron, homeported in Sabine
  • 41-foot rescue boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Freeport
  • Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi HU-25 Falcon jet and crew
  • H-144 Ocean Sentry and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.
  • C-130 aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla

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