A day of fishing by a trio of Texas anglers went from bad to worse when their 27-foot Boston Whaler lost power and drifted hard onto the South Galveston jetty on Tuesday.
They feared capsizing as the surf pounded their portside hull, so they made a 911 call that was relayed to Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston.
Galveston Island Beach Patrol arrived and rescued two of the men. The third man needed additional assistance because the boat was being pushed further over the rocks. A Coast Guard air crew hoisted him and took him to Galveston Airport.
“Luckily in this case, the men all had life jackets on and had the ability to contact help,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ramona Mason, an operations specialist in the command center at Sector Houston-Galveston. “Thankfully we were able to get on scene quickly and assist before the environment deteriorated.”
In 2014 the Coast Guard counted 4,064 recreational boating accidents that involved 610 deaths, 2,678 injuries and about $39 million in property damage.
Where the cause of death was known, 78 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of the drowning victims, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.