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First responders give warning to boaters after weekend of water rescues

Nueces County ESD #2 responded to three water rescues in a 24-hour period this weekend.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A father and son are thankful to be back on dry land after getting stranded in the Packery Channel.

Their's was one of three water rescue calls in a 24-hour period this weekend.

First responders with Nueces County ESD #2 have recently reported the need for upgraded equipment due to an increase in water rescues.

A towing craft had to battle waves higher than six feet to make the rescues. Those first responders warn boaters that when it's red flag weather, small boats should stay clear of the water.

"Catching air, going out of the Packery in our big catamaran," said Brandon Upton, the owner of Sea Tow Corpus Christi. "So the inlet right there was pretty nasty today."

It was around 11:51 a.m. Sunday when Nueces County ESD #2 got the call for a father and son struggling to maneuver their boat due to a lack of experience in rough waters. The boat was one mile east of the Packery Channel jetties.

Then, at 12:10 p.m., a towing vessel made their way out to the boat in distress. They found them at 12:33 p.m. and brought them to safety.

"I grabbed hold of the child and we maneuvered the boats close together, and I passed the child off onto our vessel just to keep him as safe as possible," Upton said.

On Saturday, kayakers had to be rescued from the rough waters as well.

Sea Tow Corpus Christi and Chief Dale Scott with Nueces County ESD #2 offered some tips for boaters before they head out on the water.

"Take a boater safety course," Upton said. "That's the first thing you do."

"Check the weather. Make sure you don't go out in high winds," Scott said. "Make sure you have a charged cell phone and you have it in a water-tight case, so you can make contact in case you do get into trouble."

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