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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard assisted four overdue boaters 19 miles offshore Matagorda, Texas, Friday.
Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a call at 8:04 p.m. Thursday from the daughter of a boater stating her father had not returned since departing at 8 a.m. He had reportedly planned to visit the Liberty Ship Reef and return before sunset.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew, the crew of Cutter Harold Miller, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi to commence searching.
Additionally, Coast Guard personnel based in San Angelo, Texas, joined the search Friday morning using an unmanned aerial vehicle.
At 12:14 p.m. Friday, the Coast Guard personnel flying the drone located the disabled vessel with the four boaters aboard. The drone team then notified the RB–M crew from Station Port O’Connor, who towed the vessel to Jetty Park in Matagorda.
No injuries were reported.
"Sharing your float plan with loved ones before fishing offshore is critically important,” said Petty Officer 1st class Cynthia Taylor, operations unit controller, Sector Corpus Christi. "Additionally, equipping yourself with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) can significantly expedite rescue efforts in times of need."
Rescue crews involved in the search were:
- Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor
- Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi
- Coast Guard Cutter Harold Miller
- Matagorda Sheriff's Office
- Customs and Border Protection
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
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