HOUSTON — The Coast Guard rescued two fishermen who became stranded after their vessel drifted away while they were wade fishing approximately a quarter-mile from shore in East Matagorda Bay, Texas, Thursday morning.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report at approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening from the crews of two passing tug boats who spotted an adrift 21-foot center console boat with no one aboard along the Texas Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in East Matagorda Bay. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast.
A Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Freeport Response Boat-Small boat crew were launched to the area to conduct a search.
Once on scene, the Air Station Houston aircrew lowered their rescue swimmer to the vessel, where they located a wallet and cellphones. The aircrew and boat crew searched throughout the evening and morning.
The fishermen were located by the aircrew at 4:50 a.m. standing in shallow water on a reef. They were hoisted and transferred to awaiting relatives at Matagorda Harbor. Both fishermen were not wearing life jackets.
“While this was a positive outcome for these fishermen, we can’t stress enough the importance of wearing your life jacket,” said Zachery Edwards, Sector Houston-Galveston command duty officer. “Our crews searched for eight hours, and if one of the fishermen had a personal locating beacon on them, our rescuers would have been able to locate them much sooner.”