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Press Release | July 1, 2023

Coast Guard, partner agency rescue distressed swimmer off Galveston, Texas

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

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Houston demonstrates the aircraft’s capabilities at the Maritime & Logistics Youth Expo at San Jacinto Maritime Technology & Training Center in La Porte, Texas, April 29, 2022. Coast Guard members from units throughout the Houston area presented future job opportunities to students at the expo. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Corinne Zilnicki)

Editor's Note: Click on stock photo to download high-resolution version.

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard and the Galveston Island Beach Patrol rescued a distressed swimmer who was swept out by a rip current off Galveston, Texas, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report from a Galveston Island Beach Patrol dispatcher at 10:39 a.m. stating a 32-year-old male had been spotted swimming about 200 yards off the 91st Street Fishing Pier and appeared to be in distress. 

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Galveston. 

Galveston Island Beach Patrol personnel were also searching for the swimmer. 

At approximately 11:42 a.m., the Dolphin crew located the man about 500 yards offshore and notified a Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard aboard a jet ski. The lifeguard pulled the swimmer from the water and returned him safely ashore. There were no reported injuries. 

“Stay safe while swimming at the beach by staying near a lifeguard and never swimming past shoulder-deep water,” said Lt. Austin Kirwin, a lifeguard with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. “You should always avoid swimming near piers, jetties, and other objects jutting from the water because rip currents are stronger and more prevalent in those areas.” 

“We are grateful that our close coordination with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol enabled us to help locate the swimmer before the situation worsened,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Miranda Moran, situation unit watchstander, Sector Houston-Galveston. “Our interagency partnerships are a key part of successful search and rescue.”

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