Six Rescued After Barge Strikes Two Powerboats Near Galveston

Image courtesy USCG

Published Jul 31, 2022 7:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard and a local fire and rescue agency rescued six people after a barge collided with two powerboats near Goat Island, Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a VHF distress call from the master of a tugboat at 2126 hours on Saturday evening. His barge tow had collided with two recreational boats, one with two people aboard and the other with four people aboard. The captain reported that the boaters had fallen into the water, and they had either put on or were holding on to life jackets.

Watchstanders issued an urgent request for assistance from nearby shipping and dispatched a helicopter crew, along with a Coast Guard Station Galveston response boat crew.

Once on scene, the boat crew pulled two people from the water and took on one boater from the tugboat. A Port Bolivar fireboat crew pulled the other three survivors from the water. After accounting for all six boaters, the rescue crews transferred them to shore for medical evaluation. Despite the potential severity of the accident, no injuries were reported.

The two recreational boats have been salvaged, and a video from the scene shows them to be afloat and in good condition. 

“This rescue is a good reminder that emergencies on the water can occur without warning,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chantz Roche, coxswain for the response. “The Coast Guard urges the boating public to practice safe boating by wearing life jackets, using kill switches and having the proper communication equipment such as a VHF-FM radio on board."