News: Coast Guard transports 3 men, 2 dogs off Padre Island National Seashore
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard picked up three men and two dogs from Padre Island National Seashore after their vehicles became disabled on the beach Wednesday.
At approximately 9 p.m., the wife of Derik Donald called watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center to request help for him and his two dogs who were stuck on the beach in a disabled vehicle as the tide was rapidly rising approximately 8 miles south of Bob Hall Pier.
The watch standers notified the Kleberg County Sheriffs and Customs and Border Protection, requesting they attempt to reach the man. Both agencies responded but were unable to make contact with the man due to the incoming tide which covered the entire beach. The watch standers diverted an air crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from a training flight and an aircrew aboard an HU-25 Guardian from a patrol to locate the man and provide assistance.
The rescue helicopter arrived on scene and found two vehicles, three men, and two dogs stuck on the beach with the water partially submerging one of the vehicles. Two of the men, Christian Boyd and Stephen Caruso, spotted Donald stuck on the beach and attempted to tow him out of the surf, but their vehicle broke. All three were unable to call for help due to lack of cell coverage. Donald was only able to get a weak signal to send an email to his wife who contacted the Coast Guard.
“We are grateful to be able to bring these three men and two dogs to safety for the night,” said Lt. Scott Stechschulte, one of the pilots aboard the helicopter. “Credit goes to the two young men who stopped to help a person in need; it is unfortunate that their vehicle broke down in the process.”
The rescue helicopter landed on the beach and brought all three men and both dogs aboard and flew them to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
“These three men were fortunate that one of them was able to contact his wife with a weak mobile signal,” said Petty Officer David Parks, one of the command center watch standers who coordinated this case. “It is important to be prepared for the worst when camping on the shoreline. A short trip could easily last longer due to unforeseen circumstances; always have extra supplies on hand and a way to call for help just in case."