PORT MANSFIELD, Texas — Three men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew early this morning from a sailboat that had run aground about 8 miles south of the Port Mansfield Jetties.
“The weather was terrible!” said the owner of Lively, the 38-foot sailboat. “Eight to 10-foot seas all night and 20 mile-per-hour winds."
They used their marine band radio to call Coast Guard watchstanders in Corpus Christi for help at 3:51 a.m. The Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders deployed crews aboard a Station South Padre Island 41-foot Utility Boat and an Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The helicopter crew arrived to rescue the three men at 6:05 a.m.
"This is a tragic situation for the owner, but we are glad to get them back safely,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Matson, the helicopter pilot. “Although the navigation around Padre Island may seem basic during the day, night time navigation along the vast uninhabited areas of Padre Island is always challenging, even for more experienced mariners. There are very few lights along the shore in these regions, and the lights from oil rigs can be disorienting. Especially at night, we hope other mariners can learn from this situation to plot out GPS locations frequently along with the future track lines for where they are headed."
The owner had been traveling since Thursday morning with his two friends. He had just purchased the boat as a retirement home, sailing it from Houston to Port Isabel.