Saturday, July 22, 2006
Coast Guard crewmembers from three different units assisted in the rescue of three fishermen and fought the fire that caused them to abandon their boat, Friday morning. A watchstander from Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a report from a recreational boat at 9:10 a.m., that the fishing vessel, Panchito, was engulfed in flames. Air Station Corpus Christi launched a helicopter and diverted a jet from patrol to assist the fishermen. The USCG Cutter Steelhead, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Aransas, Texas, was diverted from patrol and Station Port Aransas dispatched a 41-foot rescue boat. A passing recreational boat picked up the crew from a life raft. A nearby fishing boat began fighting the fire until the cutter arrived on scene and extinguish the fire.
United States Coast Guard Cutter SteelheadThe fishermen were transferred from the recreational boat to the rescue boat. No one was reported injured. The Coast Guard urges mariners of all kinds to always wear their lifejackets while boating and to ensure all safety and emergency equipment is located in an accessible area onboard and is in good working order prior to getting underway.