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Sep 22, 2013 8:33 PM by katc

Lifejacket, quick thinking save a life in Galveston Bay

A man swept from a fishing boat and into the waters of Galveston Bay was saved by a quick-thinking friend and a piece of standard safety equipment Sunday.

While fishing in Galveston Bay, four men aboard a fishing boat were interrupted by a large wave that sent one of the men into the water. Another man quickly donned a life jacket and grabbed a second one for his friend before jumping into the water to help him.

"The operator of the boat tried to manuever, but broke his key off in the ignition and stalled the engine when the wave upset the boat," said Petty Officer 1st Class David Sassner, the coxswain of the responding Coast Guard boat.
A good Samaritan notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston of the incident at 4 p.m. The boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Galveston was launched to assist.

"We got on scene, took the two out of the water, no injuries, and brought them aboard our boat," said Sassner. "We took the boat into stern tow and brought them into safer waters. Nobody lost their lives, everyone's coming home with their fingers and toes. It was a good day."
"If they hadn't had life jackets onboard and thought to use them, the results today could have been very different," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rodney Spurling, a watchstander with Sector Houston-Galveston. "This is why we urge all boaters to have life jackets with them. You never know what could happen and when the unexpected does happen, you're prepared."

The number one cause of boating fatalities is drowning, most often by sudden, unexpected entry into the water. Wearing a life jacket increases the chances of surviving a boating accident. The Coast Guard recommends boaters wear life jackets at all times.

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