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Two missing after tanker, fishing boat collide in Galveston

Jan 15, 2020 08:52 AM

One fisherman is rescued and another dies in the incident involving the 600-foot Bow Fortune

The stern of the 81-foot Pappy's Pride appears above the waterline beside the fishing vessel's inflatable life raft after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

The stern of the 81-foot Pappy's Pride appears above the waterline beside the fishing vessel's inflatable life raft after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday.

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

UPDATE

(HOUSTON) — The unified command has suspended the search Thursday for two missing fishermen from the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride that capsized after a collision near the Galveston Jetties in Galveston, Texas.

Responders searched more than 49 square miles over the past three days.

“It is never an easy decision to suspend a search," said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, Sector Houston-Galveston search and rescue mission coordinator. “Our hearts are with the families, friends and loved ones of every individual involved in this tragic event. Responders from multiple federal, state and local agencies, as well as multiple good Samaritans, have worked tirelessly over the past three days to conduct aerial flights, shore patrols and maritime searches covering more than 49 square miles in hopes of locating these two gentlemen.”

The cause of the incident is still under investigation by the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston has the following restrictions while transiting between the Galveston Bay entrance channel lighted buoys 7 and 8 and the Galveston Bay entrance channel lighted buoys 9 and 10 of no meeting or overtaking, with wake and surge considerations due to recovery operations in that area.

Involved in the response are: 

• Station Galveston 45-foot response boat–medium boat crew
• Station Galveston 29-foot response boat–small boat crews
• Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
• Crew of the Coast Guard cutter Beluga
• Sector Houston-Galveston Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) team
• Marine Safety Unit Texas City personnel
• Texas City Fire Department Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) team
• Multiple good Samaritan vessels 
• Galveston Police Department 
• Galveston County Sheriff's Office
• Galveston Island Beach Patrol
• Texas General Land Office
• Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Dive Team

PREVIOUS REPORT

(HOUSTON) — The Coast Guard is continuing the search Wednesday for two fishermen from the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy's Pride that capsized after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas.

The case began Tuesday when Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston watch standers were notified of four people in the water after a collision between the fishing vessel and the 600-foot chemical tanker Bow Fortune near the Galveston jetties.

A good Samaritan vessel recovered one of the individuals and transferred them to emergency medical services personnel. A Coast Guard Station Galveston 45-foot response boat-medium boat crew recovered another crewmember who was unresponsive. The crew of the RB-M administered CPR before transferring the crewmember to emergency medical services personnel at Sector Field Office Galveston. 

"Despite the life-saving efforts of our crew, the gentleman was later pronounced deceased by the medical examiner's office," said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, Sector Houston-Galveston search and rescue mission coordinator. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of all those affected by this tragic event. Our search and rescue efforts remain our top priority at this time." 

The cause of the collision is under investigation. 

Involved in the response are: 

Station Galveston 45-foot response boat-medium boat crew
Station Galveston 29-foot response boat–small boat crews
Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter air crew
Sector Houston-Galveston Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) team
Marine Safety Unit Texas City personnel
Texas City Fire Department Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) team
Multiple good Samaritan vessels 
Galveston Police Department 
Galveston County Sheriff's Office
Galveston Island Beach Patrol
Texas General Land Office

A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, federal on-scene coordinator, Texas General Land Office, state on-scene coordinator, and Pappy's Pride's insurance underwriters has been established in response to the collision.

Approximately 500 feet of containment boom has been placed around the capsized vessel, and teams are conducting shoreline assessments to determine impact. Sheens of unrecoverable product have been reported in the vicinity of the capsized vessel. The maximum potential of the release is 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund has been accessed to contract a local recovery organization to conduct clean-up of any recoverable product that has entered the water and remove any threat of pollution from the vessel. 

Salvage of Pappy's Pride will be contracted through the fishing vessel's insurance underwriters. 

A temporary safety zone has been established for waters near Galveston Bay Entrance Channel within 300 yards of the sunken fishing vessel. Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston has directed no meeting or overtaking, with wake and surge considerations given for vessels transiting on the Houston Ship Channel between lighted buoys 7 and 9. 

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