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HOUSTON — The Coast Guard assisted seven people aboard a vessel taking on water offshore Freeport, Texas, Sunday.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received a call on VHF-FM channel 16 at 11:40 a.m. from
a boater stating their 26-foot catamaran was taking on water about 20
miles offshore. The six adults and one minor aboard the catamaran were
all reportedly wearing life jackets.
vessel's operator stated there may be a hole in the hull of the vessel
and that the five pumps on board were barely keeping up with the
directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Freeport 45-foot Response
Boat–Medium crew and Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin
helicopter crew to assist.
boat and helicopter crews rendezvoused with the catamaran, which was
heading ashore. Upon discovering that the catamaran was still taking on
water now with only three pumps functioning, the RB–M crew escorted the seven boaters and vessel to Freeport Marina.
mariners should equip their boats with Coast Guard-approved life
jackets, a working VHF radio and an EPIRB before heading offshore," said
Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Smith, communications unit controller,
Sector Houston-Galveston. "The boaters we assisted today were able to
call for help right away using their radio and were safer thanks to
their life jackets. Additionally, we were able to track their position
via EPIRB, which is essential when a situation deteriorates.”