Missing boaters found in Galveston Bay
HOUSTON - A Coast Guard crew located and rescued two missing boaters on platforms in Galveston Bay, Wednesday.
Michael Watkins and Raymond Jacik disappeared Monday, after leaving for a fishing trip Monday morning. The wife of one of the men, called for help when they didn't come home. The Coast Guard searched all day Tuesday with help from the Chambers' County Sheriff's Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife crews and the Houston Police department dive team.
"We never gave up on these two gentlemen, and bringing them home safe to their families is what Coast Guardsmen live to do," said Capt. Brian Penoyer, the commander of Sector Houston-Galveston.
The men told investigators their boat began taking on water and eventually capsized because of a rogue wave. They were not able to get to their life jackets before they were thrown into the water. The two men say they clung to their cooler, and split the food they had stored inside. Eventually the two were separated, and each made his way to a platform in the bay.
"Especially as the boating season starts, it's important to remember you may not have time to put on your life jacket in an emergency," said Penoyer. "We were all very lucky this accident happened where it did and they could climb up on a nearby platform. Check that your life jackets are serviceable, and wear them — it could mean the difference in surviving."
The men were found minutes apart by a helicopter crew. Both were taken to local hospitals and according to the Coast Guard, they are in stable condition.