Coast Guard rescues 4 from boat fire, responds to capsized boat with 2 aboard
HOUSTON — Coast Guard Station Freeport crews responded to two consecutive maritime emergencies to save people from the water Sunday afternoon.
At 1:03 p.m., four people aboard a 1974, 40-foot, Viking sport fishing boat, made a mayday call on VHF channel 16. They reported an uncontrollable boat fire and they needed to abandon ship to their life raft about 9 miles south of Surfside.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders launched a Station Freeport 45-foot response boat crew, who arrived at 1:40 p.m. and recovered all four people from their life raft.
At 1:44 p.m., Brazoria County dispatch reported that someone made a 911 call after his boat capsized near the Freeport Jetties and his friend hadn’t made it to shore. The watchstanders launched Station Freeport’s 29-foot response boat to rescue the man, but he made it to shore wearing a life jacket before they arrived. At 1:53 p.m., the Freeport Police department reported that he made it safely to shore.
The 29-foot boat crew picked up the four survivors from the other boat crew, who stayed with the burning boat until it sank at 3:15 p.m.
“These are two examples of how proper safety gear will save your life; life rafts and life jackets,” said Zachery Edwards, a watchstander at the sector. “The VHF radio pinpointed the mariners position.”