U.S. Coast Guard generic

The Coast Guard rescued two stranded fisherman via helicopter Thursday morning after they became stranded in East Matagorda Bay while fishing, the agency said in a news release.

The fisherman were found after an all-night search. Watchstanders with the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston were alerted at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after two tug boat crews spotted a vacant 21-foot console boat in East Matagorda Bay. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and a helicopter and boat crew began searching the area.

The search team found a wallet and cellphones on the empty console boat and continued combing the area on Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning.

The helicopter crew found the fisherman at 4:50 a.m. Thursday. The men were standing in shallow water on a reef, where they were hoisted and relocated to family members waiting for them at Matagorda Harbor. Neither fisherman was wearing a life jacket.

“While this was a positive outcome for these fishermen, we can’t stress enough the importance of wearing your life jacket,” Zachery Edwards, the command duty officer for Sector Houston-Galveston, said in a statement. “Our crews searched for eight hours, and if one of the fishermen had a personal locating beacon on them, our rescuers would have been able to locate them much sooner.”

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