Missing Montgomery County men found off Matagorda Beach; 1 dead

By adriana_acosta

March 24, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated March 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.

Two Montgomery County men reported missing Friday were found Saturday by the Coast Guard 10 miles offshore from Matagorda Beach.

Ken Henderson, 49, a retired Montgomery sheriff deputy, was able to swim to a nearby oil rig and was able to get help.

The other man, Edward Cowen, was found dead by the Coast Guard Corpus Christi group.

Both men were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.

The two men were taken to Christus Spohn Shoreline hospital in Corpus Christi.

"The boat sunk, and that's why they were up in the water," said Lt. Heidi Miller, public affairs officer for U.S. Coast Guard at Sector Corpus Christi.

"The timeline is kind of vague because everything was so drawn out," she said.

Miller said both men left Thursday morning to go fishing. On Thursday evening, sector Houston-Galveston, overheard a mayday call, but no further communication.

Later, after talking with the survivor, the Coast Guard was able to piece together it was the two men who placed the mayday call, she said.

"We got a call to be on the lookout to see if we could find the fishermen, and we found them at midnight," said Lt. Frank Craft, Matagorda County Sheriff's Office marine and narcotics division.

The men were reported missing by a friend.

Their truck and trailer were found parked south of Matagorda beach off Farm-to-Market 2031 at Rawlins Bay Camp, he said.

The 30-foot scarab twin engine boat, aqua in color, was nowhere to be found when the men were found, Craft said.

"At this time, there is no information to find out what happened to the boat, but it did go down," he said.

On Friday evening, at about 11:30 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard received a call from Henderson's wife saying he was overdue and she was worried about him.

"The Houston-Galveston sector then got a call from the rig, saying a man was found and his friend was still out in the water," Miller said. Henderson was able to swim to Matagorda Island Rig 632A.

Craft said that it will take a few days to determine how the accident happened.

Craft said an autopsy will be performed to find the cause of death for Cowen, whose age is still unknown.



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