Six rescued after barge, powerboats collide near Galveston

(HOUSTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard and a partner agency rescued six people from the water after a vessel collision Saturday near Goat Island, Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watch standers received notification at 9:26 p.m. via VHF-FM Channel 16 that a tugboat pushing a barge collided with two recreational boats, one with two people aboard, the other with four people aboard. The captain of the tugboat reported that the people had fallen in the water and had either put on or were holding on to life jackets.

Two recreational boats involved in a collision with a barge Friday are moored near Goat Island, Texas, following the incident. U.S. Coast Guard photo

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

Once on scene, the boat crew pulled two people from the water and embarked one boater from the tugboat. A Port Bolivar fireboat crew pulled the other three people from the water. After accounting for all six boaters, rescue crews safely transferred them ashore to awaiting emergency medical services personnel.

No injuries were reported. The two recreational boats have been salvaged. The name of the tugboat involved was not released.

“This rescue is a good reminder that emergencies on the water can occur without warning,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chantz Roche, coxswain for the case. “The Coast Guard urges the boating public to practice safe boating by wearing life jackets, using kill switches and having the proper communication equipment such as a VHF-FM radio on board. Additionally, mariners can download the U.S. Coast Guard app, which serves as a single source of boating safety information.”

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller