The Coast Guard assisted 33 people aboard an adrift passenger vessel off Galveston, Texas, Saturday.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a call on VHF-FM channel 16 at about 11 a.m. from the captain of the dolphin sightseeing vessel Baywatch Too stating the vessel had lost steering and was drifting toward a dredge pipe in a highly trafficked area near Seawolf Park. The vessel is operated by BayWatch Dolphin Tours in Galveston.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Galveston 45' response boat–medium crew. Meanwhile, a Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 6-8 boat crew arrived on scene to assist and relay communications.
The RB–M crew arrived on scene, placed the Baywatch Too in tow and safely transported the vessel, crew and passengers to Pier 21 in Galveston.
"It is fortunate we were patrolling nearby, heard the call for help and were able to relay communications between the Baywatch Too and the Coast Guard command center," said Greg Hoffnung, coxswain of the Auxiliary Flotilla 6-8 boat crew. "We recommend that all boaters keep a listening watch on channel 16 so they can support fellow mariners in distress, especially during such a busy holiday weekend."