Six People Rescued After Barge Hits Two Powerboats

Aerial view of a powerboat and its wake
Updated Published

After a tugboat moving barges collided with two recreational power boats on Saturday, six people had to be pulled from the ocean close to Goat Island, Texas.

At nine in the evening, watchstanders with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received notification. Through VHF-FM channel 16, a tugboat towing a barge collided with two recreational boats, one carrying two people and the other four. The tugboat's captain claimed that the people had fallen into the sea and were wearing or clutching onto life jackets.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston and a 29-foot Response Boat-Small team from Coast Guard Station Galveston were sent to assist after watchstanders broadcasted an urgent maritime information broadcast.

The boat crew arrived on the scene and immediately grabbed two people from the sea while boarding one boater from the tugs. The opposing three people were rescued from the water by a Port Bolivar fire boat team. All six boaters were located, and the rescue teams successfully brought them onshore to be met by emergency medical professionals.

The two recreational boats have been retrieved, and a video of the incident reveals that they are floating and in fine shape.

“This rescue is an efficient reminder that emergencies on the water can happen without warning,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chantz Roche.

“The Coast Guard urges the boating public to follow protected boating by carrying life jackets, utilizing kill switches and having the right communication gear reminiscent of a VHF-FM radio on board. Moreover, mariners can obtain the U.S. Coast Guard app, which serves as a single supply of boating security info.”