OSV, tanker crews save four fishermen adrift in Gulf

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — The Coast Guard rescued a man from the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday who was missing for more than 24 hours after his boat sank Saturday.

The Coast Guard had been searching for a 37-year-old San Antonio man since 1 p.m. Sunday, after being notified by the oil rig supply vessel Go America that they had picked up three people out of the water offshore of San Jose Island, and that there was another man missing.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., lookouts on the tanker Pacific Marchioness heard cries for help coming from the water. The tanker immediately contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center. The watchstanders diverted an aircrew on an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter already airborne engaged in the search.

The helicopter arrived on scene three minutes after the Pacific Marchioness made contact with Coast Guard watchstanders. After a brief search, the air crew located the man and hoisted him aboard the rescue helicopter. The crew then transported him to Spohn Memorial Hospital.

The four San Antonio men were fishing near oil rigs east of Port O’Connor, Texas. Their 25-foot center console boat sank Saturday and all four men entered the water before they could call for help. They were wearing life jackets and drifted overnight to where they were found by the Go America.

The Coast Guard launched two crews on 45-foot response boats, one from Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor and one from Station Port Aransas, the Coast Guard cutter Steelhead, an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Sector Corpus Christi, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing surveillance aircraft from Air Station Mobile, Ala., to conduct the search. Watchstanders also made several urgent marine information broadcasts notifying vessels in the area to keep a look out for the man. The broadcast was heard by the crew of the Pacific Marchioness.

“We are extremely happy to have found and brought this man to safety after he was in the water for over 24 hours,” said Lt. Cmdr Nathan Allan, the search and rescue mission coordinator for this case. “The positive outcome of this case is due to the maximum effort we put into the search and fact that he was wearing a life jacket. Credit goes to the crew of the Go America for finding the first three men, and the crew of the Pacific Marchioness for keeping a sharp lookout for a known person in distress. The actions of both of these crews contributed greatly to the happy ending of this case.”

The man is being treated at Spohn Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

By Professional Mariner Staff