Coast Guard makes three rescues in 24 hours

HOUSTON (KHOU) - It was a busy holiday for the Coast Guard. They've undertaken three big rescues in 24 hours -- from Sunday to Monday night. One of those rescues involved a 2-year-old boy.

They tell us the vast majority of the incidents they've responded to have just been accidents. They even expected more people on the water this weekend because of the holiday.

On Monday, It was a 46-foot boat that lost power near Eagle Point in San Leon that the Coast had to help by air and on the water. The boat had six adults and two children on it.

"I think all of us joined the Coast Guard because we want to help people," said Lieutenant George Matthews.

He flew to the scene in San Leon as he did to two other rescues this holiday weekend, including one near the Bolivar Peninsula where they received a distress call they never want to get: where a 2-year-old and a man were unaccounted for.

"It was pretty high stress on the way out there," Lt. Matthews said. "We were pretty nervous about that -- that there's a young child out there in the water."

"I just wanted to keep him from freaking out," Hernandez said. "He probably cried 20 to 30 times."

Hernandez and some friends -- including the mother of the 2-year-old -- had gone out for the day on the water but their boat ran out of gas.

"So we dropped the anchor, called for help and just sat and waited for that," said Hernandez, who says some of the other people on the boat went for a swim while they were waiting, but no one realized how strong the current was and they drifted apart.

"It was kind of scary because everybody was yelling and screaming from the water," said Ciara Carvalho.

"After a while, I'm just laying on my back just kind of floating there with the baby on my chest, and I hear Michael screaming for his life," Hernandez added.

Hernandez and the 2-year-old had life jackets on. Eventually the Coast Guard showed up, telling Hernandez how lucky he was, considering how close he had drifted to the ship channel.

"If we had gotten close enough to a boat, the propeller would just suck us under," Hernandez said. "Without the life jacket, we wouldn't have made it."

The Coast Guard couldn't stress enough how crucial it is to have and be wearing life jackets at all times.

The other rescue of two men happened Monday morning. According to the Coast Guard, their boat started sinking six miles off the coast of Galveston.

In this case and all others, thankfully, nobody was hurt.


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