Quote from Port Arthur, “the News”
0538 / 31st Tugboat crewmen were able to rescue two of their own in local waters after their vessel began to capsize Friday, causing the ship channel to be closed to traffic. The tugboat Sea Cypress, a 71-feet towing vessel, made a “mayday” call over the marine radio at 5:38 a.m. Friday, saying they were taking on water while moored near the mouth of the Sabine River near Sabine Pass. Petty Officer 1st class Corinne Vilnicki said Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Watchstanders launched from Station Sabine with a 45-feet response boat.
As per Port Arthur Pilots (0845hrs/01st), they are staging preliminary vessels to go past in into the river with deeper drafts to check safety viability
HOUSTON — The Coast Guard assisted four people aboard a tugboat taking on water in Sabine Pass, Texas, Friday.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received notification at 5:38 a.m. that the crew of the Sea Cypress, a 71-foot towing vessel, hailed mayday on VHF-FM channel 13 and reported they were capsizing while moored near the mouth of the Sabine Pass channel.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Sabine.
An on-scene Sabine Pilot boat operator reported that two of Sea Cypress crew used a handheld torch to cut a hole in the bulkhead and free two crewmen trapped in the partially submerged vessel’s galley. The Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene, took aboard the four tugboat crewmen and brought them ashore to Station Sabine.
Jefferson County EMS personnel assessed the four mariners and transported them to Southeast Texas Medical Center in Port Arthur, Texas, in stable condition.
“We are glad that the tugboat crew was able to think outside the box and that we were able to quickly get all four of them to safety,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Ian Murray, search and rescue mission coordinator, Sector Houston-Galveston.