Yesterday, the crew of Guice Offshore's oil rig supply vessel GO America spotted two persons adrift approximately 12 miles offshore of San Jose Island. The crew quickly brought the two individuals onboard and shortly thereafter, spotted and retrieved a third person.
The rescued men had been in the water for over 24 hours and had drifted over 30 miles from the location from where their 25' recreational fishing vessel sank Saturday. The men had been fishing near oil rigs east of Port O’Connor when their boat sank before they could call for help. The three rescued men were wearing life jackets and they told rescuers that a fourth member of their party was missing and last seen with two lifejackets.
The Coast Guard was notified and joined the GO America in a search and rescue effort. The Coast Guard watchstanders launched two crews on 45' response boats, one from Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor and one from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas, as well as the Coast Guard cutter Steelhead, an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Corpus Christi, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed wing surveillance aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Mobile, Ala. The watchstanders also made Urgent Marine Information Broadcasts for all vessels in the area to keep a look out for the man.
The search concluded approximately eight hours after the first two individuals were found when a passing tanker heard the missing man's cries for help and notified the Coast Guard that they had spotted a man in the water. The Coast Guard helicopter was then able to locate and retrieve the fourth man from the water.
Coast Guard Lt. Eric Vryheid said the unidentified man had been in the water about 30 hours when the tanker approached, the AP reported.
"The reason he was rescued is because No. 1 he was wearing a life jacket and also because we threw everything at this search," Vryheid told the AP.