Corpus Christi Coast Guard assists 16 people, responds to multiple cases during Labor Day weekend

Coast Guard 8th District NewsCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard responded to 11 cases and assisted 16 people from Friday to Monday during this Labor Day Weekend.

During routine boardings on Friday, Station Port O’Connor terminated the voyages of two commercial vessels for boating under the influence of alcohol.

At approximately 2 a.m. Saturday morning, Station Port O’Connor received a report of a vessel adrift. A crew member used night vision goggles to view the vessel from shore and verify no one was aboard. Station launched a shallow water vessel to recover the drifting boat. Using the registration information, the owner was able to be contacted to confirm he was at home and not in distress.

Saturday morning, a pleasure craft collided with a barge and one person received minor abrasions. The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Victoria began an investigation of the incident and pollution response. The tug and barge were cleared to proceed and the pleasure craft was transferred to commercial salvage.

A Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer vessel 18610 on patrol Saturday evening located a disabled pleasure craft in the Inter Coastal Waterway. The Auxiliary member provided assistance and safely towed the vessel into Port Mansfield.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, watch standers at Sector Corpus Christi received a distress signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon. Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi launched an MH-65 Dolphin and a HU-25 Falcon jet with crews. The sensor systems operator aboard the Falcon was able to establish communications with the motor vessel, Master D, approximately 30 miles off the coast of Freeport. It was determined the vessel was not in distress and the radio beacon had been accidentally activated.

Saturday night, Station South Padre Island received a report via a phone call of a 15-foot pleasure craft taking on water with six people aboard. Station South Padre Island launched a shallow water vessel and crew just after 9 p.m. to assist the vessel in South Bay. The vessel was safely escorted to the Port Isabel boat ramp without further incident.

Calhoun County Sheriff Department called Station Port O’Connor at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning to report five people on top of the Port O’Connor jetties waving their arms in distress, and a capsized vessel in the vicinity. Station Port O’Connor launched a shallow water vessel and crew. They were on scene within 20 minutes of the report and were able to assist the five people off the jetty with no injuries and transferred them to the Coast Guard Station. A safety marine information broadcast was released to inform mariners of the drifting vessel.

The South Padre Island Police Department contacted Station South Padre Island at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The police received a phone call from a child reporting his father fell off their boat. The boy was able to get his father back aboard, who was unconscious, though the call ended before providing a position. The cellular company traced the call to a cell tower in the vicinity of the Port Mansfield Jetties. Station South Padre Island launched a Fast Response Boat and crew to conduct a search of the area. Air Station Corpus Christi launched an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning to assist in the search. Additionally, a shallow water vessel from Station South Padre Island, a second helicopter crew from Air Station Corpus Christi, and three Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels assisted in the search. Station South Padre Island received a phone call at approximately 9:45 a.m. reporting that man was safe on shore and did not request Coast Guard assistance.

Corpus Christi Police Department phoned the Coast Guard command center on Sunday to report a capsized vessel between the Packary Channel Jetties with five people clinging to the hull. Air Station Corpus Christi launched an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew. It arrived on scene at before 12:30 p.m. and the police were already on scene. The helicopter provided aerial cover and stayed on scene until the police had safely rescued the five people.

At approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, Station South Padre Island received a phone call reporting a 32-foot cabin cruiser with eight adults and 10 children aboard experienced an engine failure. The caller was aboard the vessel in the Brownsville Ship Channel. Station launched a utility boat and crew, and safely towed the vessel to South Point Marina.

The Coast Guard command center received a phone call just before 4 p.m. Sunday reporting a sailboat possibly in distress. The Good Samaritan was in a fishing cabin near Baffin Bay marker 186 and witnessed what appeared to be a sailboat taking on water. Air Station Corpus Christi launched an MH-65 Helicopter and crew. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and Flour Bluff Rescue were also on scene. The vessel was a catamaran which had run aground with two people on board. The Coast Guard provided no further assistance.

Just before 5 a.m. Monday morning, the Coast Guard command center received a radio call reporting that a 20-foot pleasure craft with four people aboard had run aground near the Mansfield jetties but the vessel had no means of communication. A crew from Station South Padre Island trailered a boat to launch from Port Mansfield. The Coast Guard located the vessel which had run aground. The three children had already been safely taken ashore by a Good Samaritan, and the adult remained with the vessel to wait for commercial salvage assistance. The Coast Guard departed scene with no further actions.

“We would like to remind boaters to maintain vigilance and use safe boating practices,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tony Colburn, situational unit watchstander. “This includes wearing life vests and using a VHF marine band radio.”

For more information on safe boating practices, please visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Resource Center:

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