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Coast Guard suspending search for missing fishermen in Galveston

PortandTerminal.com, January 17, 2020

GALVESTON, TX – The Coast Guard has suspended a search and rescue mission to locate two missing fishermen that were thrown overboard after a collision Tuesday with a chemical tanker near Galveston.

READ: 2 missing, 1 dead after fishing vessel and tanker collide near Galveston

The crash happened around 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday authorities said. According to the Coast Guard, four men were on an 81-foot fishing boat, Pappy’s Pride, in the area when they were involved in a collision with a 600-foot chemical tanker, the Bow Fortune which is owned by Odjfell, a Norwegian company.

Fishing boat named Pappy's Pride at sea
The 81-foot fishing boat Pappy’s Pride was struck by a 600-foot chemical tanker on Tuesday

Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, who led the Coast Guard’s search and rescue operation, told reporters at a press conference Thursday that the decision was made to suspend the search in part because of dense fog conditions and the fact that the window of survivability for the two fishermen had passed.

“At this point, we have exceeded over 24 hours from the time of survivability,” Baldueza said. “Based on those factors, which account for water temperature, air temperature, height and weight of the (missing fishermen), we already exceeded 24 hours. It was a difficult decision to suspend the search and we send the heartfelt sympathies to the families.”

The Coast Guard and state and local partners searched over 49 square miles over 3 days.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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