Good Samaritans assist kayakers off High Island, Texas

Coast Guard 8th District News
HOUSTON — The crew of a fishing boat returned two kayakers to safety Friday, after strong, northern winds pushed them out to sea off High Island, Texas.

One of the distressed kayakers contacted Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders at approximately 11:30 a.m., with a VHF handheld radio, stating that strong winds prevented them from returning to shore.

The watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and diverted an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston to assist.

The crew of the World Freedom, a fishing boat in the vicinity of the kayakers, responded to the UMIB, brought the kayakers aboard and transported them close enough to shore for them to safely make it in.

“In this particular case, what’s really important to outline is the fact that things can go wrong,” said Lt. Brian Seekatz, one of the pilots aboard the helicopter. “These kayakers found themselves in a situation with uncommon, strong, northern winds, where they could not paddle back to shore. The fact that they had a radio on their kayak to call the Coast Guard saved their lives, without expending our resources and personnel.”

All mariners are encouraged to invest in a VHF-FM marine-band radio as their primary means of communication on the water. VHF-FM marine-band radios are far more reliable than cells phones in the marine environment. VHF-FM Channel 16, the international hailing and distress channel, is monitored by the Coast Guard and state marine patrols around the clock. In addition, all mariners in the vicinity will hear distress calls broadcast over VHF-FM Channel 16. Urgent safety information and weather reports for boaters are also broadcast over marine band radio channels.

To learn more about safe boating practices, visit the Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center at

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