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Clinging to sunken boat

Coast Guard authorities have rescued a 13-year-old boy who spent 28 hours in the Gulf of Mexico after the boat he was aboard began taking on water off Galveston, Texas.

The boy, who is from Houston, was found Monday afternoon clinging to the partially sunken boat about 10 miles south of GalvestonIsland, the Houston Chronicle newspaper reports. The bodies of two adult passengers were found nearby. The agency continued to search for a fourth passenger who apparently attempted to swim to a nearby oil rig, the Coast Guard says.

The boy, who was wearing a PFD, was airlifted by helicopter to an area hospital for treatment, Coast Guard spokesperson Mario Romero says in an interview with Soundings. The two bodies recovered also were wearing PFDs. Early this week water temperatures off GalvestonIsland ranged between 58 and 62 degrees, Romero says.

Police received a call from a cell phone about 10 a.m. Sunday from a man who said his boat was disabled and that he and his passengers needed help, a Coast Guard news release states. Galveston police contacted the Coast Guard, which launched helicopter, rescue boat and two patrol boats to search for the disabled boat. Authorities, however, lost contact with the caller.

The boaters set out Sunday for a fishing trip to celebrate the boy’s birthday, the news report says.

Jason Fell