Coasties are never off message

Published on November 27th, 2022

The problem with the mantra “Foiling is the Future” is it forgets about how foiling has certain requirements like expertise, sufficient wind, and relatively flat water. And if you are kitefoiling when these variables become your enemy, a rescue can follow.

That’s what kept the Coast Guard busy on November 24 near Texas City, Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report from Texas City dispatch personnel at 12:52 p.m. of a man in the water holding onto a piece of floating wood off the north side of the Texas City Dike. The man was reportedly not wearing a life jacket.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Galveston 29-foot Response Boat–Small crew while a Station Galveston 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew diverted to assist.

The RB–M crew arrived on scene and pulled the man and his kitesurfing equipment out of the water. The RB–S crew took the man aboard and safely transported him to awaiting Texas City Fire Department personnel at the Texas City Dike.

It is unclear if the man was holding onto a piece of floating wood as photos show he had a foiling board, and that might have been his buoyancy. Another photo shows him scrutinizing his foil which may have kept him from safely sailing his board.

No injuries were reported, but the Coasties are never off message.

“Everyone should utilize a life jacket regardless of the activities you have planned on the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Wideman, coxswain during the case. “Life jackets provide flotation and high visibility, making it easier for search and rescue crews to locate you in the water.”

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