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Press Release | Jan. 29, 2023

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Port O’Connor, Texas

Coast Guard PADET Texas - Office: (281) 464-4810 / After Hours: (832) 293-1293

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a 20-year-old man who went overboard into the water near Port O’Connor, Texas, Saturday.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 64 square miles.

“Suspending a search without a positive ending is always a difficult decision to make,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Foster, search and rescue mission coordinator, Sector Corpus Christi. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to this young man’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a notification at 10:56 p.m. Friday on VHF-FM channel 16 from the towing vessel Chip Stiebing stating a collision occurred between a barge they were towing and an aluminum skiff with two people aboard in the Intracoastal Waterway north of Shoal Water Bay. The collision ejected both people from the skiff into the water and a good Samaritan rescued one person from the water.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor 29-foot Response Boat–Small crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for the missing boater.

Involved in the search were:

  • Station Port O’Connor
  • Air Station Corpus Christi
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office
  • TowBoat U.S.
  • SeaTow