One Conroe man is dead and another recovering in a Corpus Christi hospital after their boat sank Thursday 12 miles off of Matagorda Bay and the two men treaded water for more than 30 hours.
Ken Henderson, 49, and Ed Coen, 48, were fishing when their boat sank, stranding the men in the water, according to the Conroe Courier.
The two men tied their life vests together to support one another in the water, but Coen began to get hypothermic. Henderson, a retired Montogomery County Sheriff’s deputy, made the decision to untie the straps keeping the pair connected before swimming for help.
“He couldn’t kick his legs to swim anymore, and I knew I had a choice,” Henderson told The Courier Monday. “I told him, ‘I need your help,’ or we would both be stranded out here and die.”
After swimming for miles, Henderson found refuge on an oil platform, where he called his wife and the Coast Guard.
A fisherman found a deceased Coen shortly after floating in the water.
Henderson made two Mayday calls to the Marine Radio but received no response, he said. He then tried to call 911 but had no cell phone service.
The boat sank quickly, leaving the men in the water for more than 35 hours.
It wasn’t long before conditions began to get the best of Coen, Henderson said, who started seeing signs of hypothermia and shock, according to the Courier.
“We had been best friends for 25 years,” Henderson said. “All of his kids call me Uncle Ken. We were as close as two guys could be. I want everyone to know Ed was as big of a part in this as I was. It was simply because of him being lean that he succumbed to the hypothermia before I did.
“He was a very big-hearted person, and would do anything in the world for me. We were true brothers. I really miss him.”