The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of seven people this morning whose vessel capsized in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 130 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas late yesterday.
Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District command center in New Orleans received an alert from a 406-MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) at approximately 10 p.m. yesterday registered to the vessel Missin’ Link, homeported in Freeport, Texas.
The Coast Guard immediately issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) requesting mariners in the area to assist in the search, then launched an HU-25 Falcon search and rescue jet plane from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, and a MH65-C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane from Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala., and the Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Galveston, Texas.
Watchstanders called the owner of the vessel who confirmed the approximate location given by the EPIRB and said that there were seven people aboard the Missin’ Link. At approximately 3 a.m., the HU-25 arrived on scene and located a life raft with six people on board, and dropped an additional life raft and radio into the water.
The 250-foot research vessel Mystic Viking responded to the UMIB, and at approximately 6 a.m. today, located a person in the water and the crew safely brought him aboard.
At approximately 6:40 a.m., the Coast Guard HC-144 located the life raft with the remaining six people on board and directed the Mystic Viking to the life raft’s location. The crew of the Mystic Viking was able to safely bring them aboard.
The Coast Guard is currently coordinating the medevac of one of the rescued crewmembers and is arranging for the transfer of the remaining crew back to shore.
“The crew of the Missin’ Link was very prepared and had a working and registered 406-MHz EPIRB and life raft,” said Kevin Robb, a search and rescue controller at the Eighth District command center. “The EPIRB gave us a spot-on location to search.”
The 406-MHz EPIRB’s signal allows satellites to detect its signal and provide a more accurate search area for rescue crews. For instance, a GPS-embedded 406-MHz EPIRB can shrink a search area to about 100 yards and can pinpoint the position of a distressed mariner within minutes.
“The crew of the Mystic Viking was very helpful in locating and rescuing the crew of the Missin’ Link. They responded quickly to our request for help and were able to locate and rescue the one person in the water and later safely rescue the remaining six people from the life raft,” Robb added.