HOUSTON — Coast Guard crews located and rescued two men after hours of searching about 125 miles southeast of Galveston Saturday.
Rescued are Karl Shram and Chris Bergeron of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Search and rescue coordinators at Sector Houston-Galveston sent Coast Guard cutters, an airplane, and a helicopter to search for the men when they used their satellite phone to make a distress call at about 10:30 a.m. They reported their boat was sinking quickly, and they were planning to swim to an oil rig nearby.
Later in the day, after hours of searching by plane and helicopter and with Coast Guard patrol boats en route, the men were able to contact the family with their satellite phone. That set off their Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon, a satellite-based distress beacon, which directed a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane to their location. That was about 60 miles southeast of the Sabine Pass jetties, at 6:28 p.m.
The aircraft crew dropped a VHF marine band radio to the men on their 42-foot boat, the Quality Time, and directed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to the men’s position. The helicopter arrived at 6:39 p.m. and the team dropped off a pump and rescue swimmer to help the men dewater their sinking boat. They stayed with them until the Coast Guard Cutter Manta arrived at 7:15 p.m.
Shram was showing signs of dehydration and the Coast Guard medevac him by the helicopter crew to Scholes International Airport in Galveston, where EMS met them.
Bergeron and the Coast Guard Cutter Manta team were able to get the flooding under control.
The Coast Guard Cutter Pompano arrived shortly after that and began escorting the Quality Time toward Cameron, Louisiana.
The Pompano and Manta are a Texas-based 87-foot patrol. Sabine Pass is the homeport for Pompano, and Freeport is homeport for the Manta. Air Station Houston is the base for the Dolphin helicopter crew, and the Ocean Sentry aircrew is out of Air Station Corpus Christi.