A sports fishing boat worth more than $1 million crashed this weekend into a shrimping boat before sinking during a fishing tournament about 45 miles offshore from Port O’Connor.

The crash of the 61-foot sports fishing boat, named Got ‘M On, was reported to the Coast Guard at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, assistant public affairs officer Kenneth Hawkins said Sunday. The Got ‘M On collided with a 79-foot shrimping boat named Lady Toni, the Coast Guard reported.

A good Samaritan operating another boat, the Double Oak, helped the eight passengers on the sinking Got ‘M On get to safety on his recreational 50-foot long boat, Hawkins said. No one on the shrimping boat was in the water. No one was arrested or cited after the crash. Only minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, were reported, and no one was transported to a hospital.

A Victoria unit of the Corpus Christi Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the crash, which Hawkins said he couldn’t comment on. The owner and captain of Got ‘M On, reportedly out of Port Aransas, did not return messages requesting comment.

Got ‘M On and Double Oak were part of The Lone Star Shootout fishing tournament, said Capt. Parker Wright, 24, of Lafayette, La., who operated Double Oak.

“It was my first mate and I. We helped grab them off the boat and put them on our boat,” he said Sunday. “It’s illegal to pass a boat that is distressed. We did what we had to do and hoped anybody else would have done the exact same thing.”

Wright backed Double Oak up to the distressed boat while his first mate, Neil Smith, 23, of Lafayette, La., helped the passengers get off the sinking boat, he said.

“Everyone was all right, and that’s what’s important,” Wright said.

Wright said this incident is a major misfortune, and the captain of Got ‘M On was shook up after the incident. He declined to identify him.

Capt. John Hafernick, 25, of Palacios, who was fishing Saturday but not part of the tournament, was on his way inshore listening to the tournament radio when he heard chatter about the crash. The top of Got ‘M On was ripped off and laying in the water, along with a lot of debris from the sports boat, he said.

“I looked and ... Got ‘M On and Double Oak and the shrimp boat were out there,” he said. “We decided to head out there to see if there was anything we could do to help.”

Hafernick said a new model of Got ‘M On would cost more than $1 million.

“It doesn’t happen that often. Most boats of that caliber, the captains area really experienced, have a lot of time on that boat and they know how to run it,” he said. “That’s like a freak deal.”

He said he heard that the boat was on autopilot going 32 knots an hour and the captain went to measure a blue marlin that was more than 100 inches long when the crash happened.

“That’s what I heard, but I don’t know if it’s true or not,” Hafernick said. “Usually you have someone watching while you’re running so you don’t run into something.”

Kathryn Cargo reports on business and agriculture for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at kcargo@vicad.com or 361-580-6328. Follow her on twitter @kathryncargo.

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Kathryn Cargo covers business and agriculture in the Crossroads. She enjoys reporting on industry trends and getting her shoes dirty out in the field.

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