Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Galveston

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater near Galveston

Posted 4:17 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Coast Guard suspended its search 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 reporting that her father, Larry Nemec, was aboard a disabled 19-foot boat and had need help near 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.

At 9:15 p.m. Thursday, Bayou City pilots came across an unmanned, adrift 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 Parks & Wildlife Department 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 commander of the Houston-Galveston sector. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Nemec’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Brandon D. James