Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Tugboat Crew Member off Texas

Mike Schuler
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February 7, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday suspended its search for a missing tugboat crew member near Sabine, Texas.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 206 square miles for a combined 23 search hours.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received a notification at 6:10 a.m. Monday from the tugboat Smith Invader stating a crew member was last seen at 10 p.m. Sunday and was noticed missing after a crew boat was supposed to transfer him off the vessel on Monday morning.

“The tough decision of suspending a search is vetted through many channels and is never taken lightly,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Schwind, search and rescue mission coordinator, Sector Houston-Galveston. “This search involved close coordination between state and local agencies, and we appreciate their assistance. We send our thoughts and prayers to the man’s friends and family during this tough time.”

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Sabine 29-foot Response Boat–Small crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for the missing crew member.

Smith Invader is a 4,200 HP tug owned by Smith Marine Towing of Morgan City, Louisiana.

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