PORT ARANSAS (KIII 3 NEWS) - On August 26, the day after Hurricane Harvey hit The Coastal Bend, The U.S. Coast Guard saved 15 people trapped on three vessels near Port Aransas.
Flight mechanic Brandon Abdallah was part of that team.
"We pulled a guy from out of a tug boat and the first thing he did was kiss the ground," Abdallah said. "He started crying."
It took two MH-65 Dolphin Helicopters to do the job.
"There were two tug boats that were grounded on land so they were pretty much stranded between a channel," Abdallah said.
Rescuing directly from ocean to air became impossible.
"Usually we are hosting people from the air with a basket but in this situation since the rigs were so close and the wind direction was coming from a more dangerous position we had to land," Abdallah said.
Abdallah, the pilot and the rescue swimmer hopped out of the chopper.
"The swimmer jumped in, swam to the boat with the trail line with the rope and they preceded to bring them one by one back to shore," Abdallah said.
The biggest challenge was fuel.
"We had to transport three at a time just to save fuel and and both helicopters worked together," Abdallah said.
The air mechanic said he wasn't prepared to see the damage Hurricane Harvey left behind.
"But, when you're in a search and rescue case, your mind goes away from the damage and the flooding to your job which is rescuing people," Abdallah said.
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