TPSO Water Patrol saves sailboat in distress in difficult weather conditions

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Terrebonne Parish Water Patrol deputies, along with a Dularge Fire Department firefighter, helped rescue a sailboat in distress in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

On Saturday night at around 7:41 p.m., TPSO dispatchers received a report of a sailboat in distress on the Gulf of Mexico side of Point-au-Fer Island near the St. Mary Parish line. The boat was possibly taking on water.

A Water Patrol deputy launched his 25-foot rescue vessel, equipped with two 250-hp engines from the Falgout Canal Marina with a Dularge Fire Department fireman on board.

They headed toward the coordinators the sailboat’s operator provided and battled conditions – winds of about 25-30 mph and seas with a chop that sometimes reached 3 feet.

The deputy located the vessel at 11:09 p.m. and helped its captain secure it.

The captain told deputies that he and a companion were traveling from the Mississippi coast where he had bought the vessel to what would be its home in Texas.

The boat was experiencing engine trouble and had difficulty managing the shallows near Point-au-Fer and grounded itself onto the Gulf side.

The Water Patrol deputy traveled back to the marina with the occupants and was met by a TPSO ground unit there around 1:05 a.m. on Sunday morning. The two men were taken from the marina to a hotel in east Houma where they were to be met by friends the next day. Arrangements were made for the abandoned vessel to be picked up by Boat U.S., a commercial marine aid company.