Coast Guard medevacs man off boat near Port Aransas

March 20, 2015
South Texas Coast Guard crews medevac a man off a pleasure craft near Port Aransas, Texas. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a 70-year-old man off a 29-foot recreational boat about 37 miles off Port Aransas Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., A person aboard the recreational boat contacted Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders via VHF channel 16 stating that there was a person on the boat with possible back injuries. Watchstanders immediately made call outs with no response and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast.

A good Samaritan overheard the attempts to contact the boat and relayed communications between the distressed boat and the watchstanders.  

Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders launched an Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew and a boatcrew aboard a Station Port Aransas 45-foot response boat. The rescue swimmer was lowered from the helicopter to assess the situation. The injured man was then transferred to the 45-foot response boat, hoisted to the helicopter and transported to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital.

“The Coast Guard rescue swimmer was extremely professional and immediately took control of the situation,” said Norman Clapp, owner of the 29-foot recreational boat. “We weren’t aware that there was a short between our radio and antenna before leaving the dock. Luckily, we had a back up hand held radio to use.”  

 “Anytime we conduct a medevac there is a level of inherent risk. Our primary concern is to safely get the distressed person to a higher level of care as fast as possible," said Chief Petty Officer Anibal Mucino, the command duty officer on watch. “Fortunately, a good Samaritan was in the area to assist with communications and we were able to smoothly execute the rescue.”