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Coast Guard rescue 6 migrants near Port Mansfield, Texas

Coast Guard rescue 6 migrants near Port Mansfield, Texas
Archive image: A flight mechanic from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi ensures everything is in working order on an HH-65B (MH-65) Dolphin helicopter before take-off.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas​ — A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew rescue six migrants stranded near Port Mansfield, Texas, Friday.​

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders received a call relayed by Willacy County dispatch personnel at 6:42 a.m. from six adult migrants stating they were stranded on Padre Island north of the jetties near Port Mansfield. The individuals indicated they were beset by cold weather and in need of medical attention.​

Watchstanders directed the launch of MH-65 Dolphin Short-Range Recovery Helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi.​

The MH-65 Dolphin SRR helicopter aircrew landed nearby and deployed a rescue swimmer to assess the situation. On-scene conditions included winds at about 25-28 mph with gusts up to 40, and an​ air temperature of 21 degrees.

Coast Guard rescue 6 migrants near Port Mansfield, Texas
Archive image: An HC-144B Ocean Sentry, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi’s newest addition, rests on an airstrip in Corpus Christi, Texas on Feb. 20, 2019.
This upgraded aircraft contains improvements that will allow aircrews to gather and process surveillance information that can be transmitted to other platforms and units during flight.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Jessica Wright.

The rescue helicopter aircrew took aboard the three migrants deemed most in need of medical attention. After transporting the adults to Charles R Johnson Airport in Port Mansfield, the helicopter crew returned to rescue the last three migrants from the island. Emergency medical services (EMS) and Willacy County Sheriff’s Office personnel assessed all six individuals, then transferred them to U.S. Border Patrol agents for further processing.​

The five men and one woman were all reportedly in stable condition at the time of transfer.​

«We​ strongly discourage people from unnecessarily putting their lives and the lives of first responders at risk by needlessly and illegally attempting to enter our country,» said Jose Salazar, Willacy County Sheriff. «Thank you​ to the U.S. Coast Guard for their rapid response and rescue of these six individuals, as well as Willacy County EMS, Port Mansfield Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol for their involvement.»

«During this mission we were simultaneously able to safeguard our border and help people in need,» said Coast Guard Capt. Hans Govertsen, commanding officer, Air Station Corpus Christi. «As always, our connections with our agency partners were crucial to ensuring the safety of these people and the safety of the communities of South Texas. We are proud to work alongside them.»

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