The Coast Guard and a shrimper rescued four Mexican fishermen on Wednesday after their boat sank about 22 miles off South Padre Island in Texas.
The crew of the tanker Yunga told the Coast Guard about 6 p.m. that they saw two men clinging to a capsized Mexican fishing boat a mile north of the maritime border.
The Coast Guard diverted an HU-25 Falcon search-and-rescue aircraft, which located the men about 20 minutes after the initial call and dropped a life raft to them.
The well-coordinated teamwork by the Coast Guard flight crew is impressive, as seen in this on-board video.
The Coast Guard cutter Manta recovered the men from the life raft.
The Coast Guard learned after interviewing the two crewmen that two additional men were missing and had been in the water since 8 a.m. They were last seen swimming toward nearby ships.
With the new information, the watchstanders diverted a Mobile, Alabama-based HC-144 fixed-wing surveillance aircraft, launched an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Sector Corpus Christi and launched boat crews aboard a 33-foot interceptor and a 45-foot response boat from Station South Padre Island to search for the two missing men.
The watchstanders additionally sent out a broadcast asking mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout for people in the water.
At 11:30 p.m., the Mexican shrimping boat Don Isaac, having heard the Coast Guard’s radio broadcasts, reported hearing cries for help coming from the water. Shortly afterward, the crew of the Don Isaac told the Coast Guard that they had recovered the two missing crewmembers 5 miles south of the border and 24 miles offshore, according to a Coast Guard press release.