HOUSTON – The Coast Guard rescued a 62-year-old man who was stranded on Atkinson Island after he fell off his boat near Sylvan Beach and swam to the island Wednesday.
At approximately 9 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a call from a mariner transiting near Sylvan Beach stating they saw an unmanned boat going in circles. Watchstanders launched an Air Station Houston aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and diverted a Station Houston boatcrew to respond.
At approximately 10 a.m., watchstanders at the Houston-Galveston Vessel Traffic Service received a call from the captain of the motor vessel Eagle Tuscon, stating they saw a man waving his arms on Atkinson Island. About the same time, the helicopter rescue crew saw him and lowered a rescue basket to pick him up. The helicopter crew then transported him to Ellington Field where they were met by EMS.
"That man was dehydrated and very grateful to see us," said Lt. Brian Seekatz, the helicopter pilot on the case. "The shrimp vessel Dying Breed saw the man's fishing boat going in circles. They are the ones that gave us the initial report that got us airborne."
The man is reported to have no injuries and is in stable condition.
The boatcrew took the unmanned vessel in tow and brought it to Bayland Marina.