Search and rescue efforts suspended after fishermen go missing following boat collision

Chopper view of search for missing fishermen in Galveston. (KPRC)

GALVESTON, Texas – The search for two fishermen who went missing after their boat crashed into a 600-foot chemical tanker Tuesday afternoon was suspended on Thursday, according to the Coast Guard.

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

The deadly crash happened around 3:35 p.m. Tuesday in Galveston near the jetties, authorities said.

According to the Coast Guard, four men were on a fishing boat named “Pappy Pride” when they were involved in the collision. Family members identified one of the missing men as the Captain of the fishing vessel, Anthony Herrera.

“I believe he’s out there and I believe he’s coming home," said Herrera’s sister, Betty Marquez.

Two men were pulled out of the water and were rushed to UTMB, authorities said. Emergency responders had to perform CPR on one of the men who was unresponsive, but that man later died. He was identified by the Galveston Medical Examiner as 60-year old Constantino Corona.

The condition of the other man is unclear.

“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 crash is still under investigation.

The company who owns the chemical tanker, Bow Fortune, released the following statement about the incident:

Tragically, we have received reports that one of the four crew members onboard the fishing boat has lost his life. We are saddened by this information, and wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his family. We are also deeply concerned about the reports that two of the crew members on the fishing boat are still missing. One crew member is reported rescued. Odfjell takes this matter very seriously. Together with the P&I club Gard, we cooperate fully with US authorities to ensure that we initiate all necessary actions.

Bow Fortune is currently moored in Galveston. The crew onboard is safe and accounted for. Bow Fortune’s integrity is intact and there is no pollution stemming from the ship. The cause of the collision will be subject to investigation. Odfjell will fully support and contribute to this investigation.

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Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.