Coast Guard suspends search for missing boaters

Officials: Rescue crews searched approximately 5,400 miles

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GALVESTON, Texas - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search Sunday for four boaters, who went missing after their ship sank about 115 miles off the coast of Galveston.

The search for the four shrimpers went on through Sunday morning, with a Coast Guard cutter and an airplane. A rescue helicopter joined the search Saturday morning.

"They located some debris fields last night, and they wanted to go out there and check those today, and of course you cant see a lot at night, so you always want to go out again in the morning and do a first light search," said Richard Brahm, with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Officials said the boat sank about 115 miles southeast of Galveston early Friday morning. Coast Guard officials said around 3:30 a.m., they received an alert from the boat's emergency beacon.

An aircrew was sent out to the area to search for the boat, and found one of the crewmen, Jack Robinson, waiving his arms aboard an orange raft, officials said.

"We lowered our basket down to him and hoisted him back up into the aircraft," said Seekatz. "He was shivering, very cold."

Once Robinson was rescued, he told authorities there were four other crew members aboard the vessel before it sank.

The Coast Guard said bad weather is to blame for the troubles that led to the boat capsizing.

"He was asleep at that time and managed to get on deck and off the vessel," said Seekatz. "Once he was in the water, he was able to locate the life raft that was out on the water, swam to it and got inside."

Officials said without the emergency locating technology on the raft, Robinson may have never been found. Robinson told rescuers he didn't know if the other four fishermen even made it off the boat before it went under.

"The vessel capsized so quickly, no one on board was able to make a may day call," said Seekatz. "We are in trouble, we are going down."

Rescue crews searched approximately 5,400 miles.

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