The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the death of a veteran ship pilot at the Port of Corpus Christi who reportedly fell while boarding a ship on Saturday, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reported on Tuesday.
According to a statement reported by the Times, the Coast Guard received report at about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday of two people in the water in the LaQuinta Channel. A Good Samaritan vessel recovered both before the Coast Guard arrived, but one of the two people was unconscious when pulled from the water, the report said.
The victim has been identified as Capt. Robert Louis Adams, 65, who has been with the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots since 1989 and a pilot since 1991. He was the third-most senior pilot at the Port of Corpus Christi, the report said.
Henry de la Garza, a spokesman for the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots Association, told the Times that Adams was climbing aboard the ship when the gangway collapsed, causing him to fall about 20 feet into the water.
Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots are responsible for piloting ships in the Port of Corpus Christi and while navigating the 29-mile-long Port Corpus Christi Ship Channel and La Quinta Channel.
The Port of Corpus Christi, with direct access to the Western Gulf of Mexico, is the fifth largest port in the United States in total tonnage, according to Port Corpus Christi’s website.