Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Galveston, Texas – The Observer

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Galveston, Texas

Posted 10:34 a.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2022

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard suspended a search at 12:07 p.m. Saturday for a 65-year-old man who disappeared in the water near Galveston, Texas on Thursday.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 1,323 square miles for more than 56 hours combined.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center watchmen received a call around 7 p.m. Thursday from a woman stating that her father, Larry Nemec, was aboard a broken down 19-foot boat and needed help near the Galveston piers.

Watchstanders broadcast a request for maritime assistance and launched a medium crew of 45ft response boats from Coast Guard Station Galveston to assist.

As the RB-M crew arrived on the scene and began to search for the ship, lookouts from the command center dispatched the man i911 pings to locate its exact location. The boater only accepted the first ping; subsequent requests went unanswered. After searching near Galveston Fairway Anchorage and launching a flare to get the boater’s attention, the response crew did not locate the disabled vessel.

Aat 9:15 p.m. Thursday, Bayou City pilots came across an unmanned, drifting Blue Wave vessel with a registration number matching that of the man’s boat near the entrance to the Galveston Canal. The boat crew from Galveston Station turned away to the location while a Coast Guard Air Station MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew swooped in to search for the boater. Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Boat crews also joined the search.

Additionally, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, an 87-foot coastal patrol vessel based in Galveston, joined the search Friday morning.

Coast Guard crews continued their search Friday and Saturday.

“Despite the best efforts of our crews, we had to make the difficult decision to suspend our search today,” said Captain Keith Donohue, Deputy Commanding Officer, Houston-Galveston area. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Nemec’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.”

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Brandon D. James