Recap of the 2017 Tribute to the United States Coast Guard in Houston

Posted on May 31, 2017

The second annual Tribute to the United States Coast Guard in Houston was held on May 24 to honor Coast Guard heroism in the Lone Star State. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston's Air Station Houston crew CG-6581 received the Coast Guard Foundation Award for rescuing two fishermen whose vessel capsized leaving them stranded in Galveston Bay for more than 60 hours.

The search and rescue operation began on April 25, 2016, with Coast Guard rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, small boat crews and numerous state and local partners involved. During the first aerial search, Air Station Houston crews discovered the men's abandoned fishing boat. Using this navigational data, the watchstanders at Command Center created search points for aerial crews with the fishermen's most likely location.

With this knowledge, CG-6581 launched their MD-65D helicopter in the early morning of April 27 to search for the men. Pilot LT Zachary Gross, Co-Pilot LT Josh Scritchfield, Flight Mechanic AMT2 Nikki Moore, and Rescue Swimmer AST2 Jesse Weaver focused throughout the day to find the men, and before returning to Sector due to low fuel their final aerial search located the two men injured but alive, clinging to the rusty pipes of an old oil wellhead.