Coast Guard suspends search for tug crewman near Sabine

(HOUSTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Tuesday for a missing tugboat crewmember near Sabine, Texas.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 206 square miles for a combined 23 search hours.

“The tough decision of suspending a search is vetted through many channels and is never taken lightly,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Schwind, search and rescue mission coordinator, Sector Houston-Galveston. “This search involved close coordination between state and local agencies, and we appreciate their assistance. We send our thoughts and prayers to the man’s friends and family during this tough time.”

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watch standers received a notification at 6:10 a.m. Monday from the tugboat Smith Invader stating a crewmember was last seen at 10 p.m. Sunday and was noticed missing after a crew boat was supposed to transfer him off the vessel on Monday morning.

Watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Sabine 29-foot response boat-small crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for the missing crewmember.

Involved in the search were Sector Houston-Galveston, Station Sabine, Air Station Houston, the Jefferson County Police Department and the Texas General Land Office.

– U.S. Coast Guard

The tugboat Smith Invader. Steve J. Anderson/ photo
By Rich Miller