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Coast Guard assists 7 aboard vessel taking on water 20 miles off Freeport
Freeport

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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. 

The 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 flooding.

Watchstanders 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. 

The 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.

"All 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.”