Husband, wife dead after boat crashes head-on into their vessel near Freeport, Coast Guard says

A Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay crew aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small II pulls up alongside a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew to discuss the upcoming evolution prior to completing night-time helicopter operations training near Eureka, Calif., March 6, 2018. Coast Guard helicopter crews routinely conduct training with small boat crews to maintain their qualifications and so that in the event of a medevac request from a boat or ship, the crews are proficient in their lifesaving techniques. (Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Brandyn Hill) (U.S. Coast Guard)

FREEPORT, Texas – A couple was killed after a boat crashed head-on into their vessel Saturday night near Freeport, according to U.S. Coast Guard.

Officials responded to assist four people after receiving a call at 9:15 p.m. from the operator of a 22-foot pleasure craft stating he had been involved in a boat collision with a 24-foot pleasure craft in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between Mile Markers 382 and 384.

Officials said the boater and three passengers were traveling northbound when they collided head-on with a reportedly unlit 24-foot vessel, traveling southbound. The boater’s three passengers were ejected from the 22-foot vessel, as were the two people, a husband and wife, aboard the 24-foot vessel.

A rescue crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston searched for the remaining boaters, according to Coast Guard.

Officials said two of the men thrown from the 22-foot vessel swam to the 24-foot vessel, climbed aboard the empty boat and began searching the area for their still-missing family member.

One of the rescue crews found an unresponsive woman thrown from the 24-foot vessel, according to officials. After the Coast Guard crew took aboard the woman’s body and continued searching the area, they located the third survivor ejected from the 22-foot vessel. He was conscious with a minor head injury.

Around midnight, Gulf Coast Rescue Squad personnel located the other boater thrown from the 24-foot pleasure craft, an unresponsive man. The Coast Guard crew took aboard the man’s body and brought the two deceased and all survivors ashore to Surfside Marina in Freeport. Emergency medical services personnel evaluated the survivors and provided care to the two men with minor injuries.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department personnel are conducting an investigation of the incident.

“Although this case did not end the way we wanted, with all boaters safe and unharmed, we are thankful that teamwork with our commercial and agency partners enabled us to assist the survivors quickly,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeremy Borja, command duty officer, Sector Houston-Galveston. “We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the family of the two boaters who didn’t make it and wish them swift healing in the wake of this tragedy.”

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