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U.S. Coast Guard Calls Off Search for Missing Fishermen off Port Lavaca

Jayhawk helicopter on takeoff
USCG file image

Published Jun 2, 2024 7:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search for a missing man and his son off the coast of Port Lavaca, Texas. 

At about 1120 hours on Saturday, the wife of the owner of the shrimp boat My Possum called  Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi and reported that her husband and her son - the vessel's sole crewmembers - were overdue. The two men had departed at 0500 hours that morning and were expected back at 1030 hours, but had not returned. 

Sector Corpus Christi dispatched a helicopter aircrew from Air Station Corpus Christi and a response boat out of Station Port O'Conner to begin a search. Calhoun County first responders dispatched a fireboat to join the effort, and the county's boat crew found the upturned hull of the shrimp boat in the Matagorda Ship Channel. 

Local media have identified the missing men as Benedicto Jaramillo, 50, and Angel Alejandro Jaramillo, 16. 

"My brother, he is 16, still young," sister Alexis Jaramillo told the local Port Lavaca Wave. "He’s a good kid, always trying, a hard workers who helps out."

On Sunday morning, after 21 hours of searching over an area of 77 square miles, the Coast Guard suspended its search without success. 

"Whenever we send our rescue crews out, it is with the ardent hope we can bring everyone home safely," said Homar Barrera, search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Corpus Christi. "Unfortunately, after considering all pertinent factors, we made the difficult decision to suspend our search today."

Local SAR nonprofit Hunter Hadley's Quest continues to search for the missing men, and the fishermens' family has launched a GoFundMe effort to support the effort. The nonprofit is soliciting assistance from local boaters and beachfront residents to join in with the privately-backed operation.