PORT O'CONNER, TX — A Coast Guard boatcrew rescued a man and his dog after intense weather conditions capsized their towboat in Matagorda Bay, Sunday.
The towboat dispatched from Tow Boat U.S., was responding to a call for assistance received from a customer that was disabled on the west-side of Matagorda Bay. After losing contact with their towboat operator, a Tow Boat U.S. employee contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi to report the possible distress of their operator.
A boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat — Medium was launched at 12:35 p.m., from Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor to assist.
“When we spotted the vessel it was capsized and the gentleman was on the hull and he had his dog in his lap,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Gerard Wynne, coxswain of the response boat. “The waves were breaking over the stern.”
At the time of rescue the boatcrew was experiencing 20-knot winds and a 4-foot sea state.
Before attempting to remove the man from his capsized boat, the boatcrew threw him a lifejacket to mitigate any further risk. When the response boat got close enough the man helped his yellow labrador to safety before jumping over himself.
"[The man] was just thankful and grateful that we were out there and he was safe,” said Wynne. “He said if it was any colder he might not have made it. It might have ended up being a medical issue for him.”
"Tow Boat U.S. is a trusted commercial salvage company, a trusted partner that works to keep mariners safe at sea," said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, the response officer for Sector Corpus Christi. "We were glad today that we were able to quickly assist our partners, and that those aboard the towboat were safely recovered."
There were no reported injuries.