Update: According to the USCGS in Houston, the crew and the boat were found safe yesterday afternoon. The Coast Guard said they had a communication issue, but they were returning to port when found.
Coast Guard crews are searching for three or four men aboard a white 29-foot Chris-Craft Catalina sport fishing boat about 95 miles southeast of Galveston Wednesday.
The girlfriend of Michael Hagen, the boat’s owner, called Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report him overdue Tuesday night. It was reported that he left Monday for an overnight trip to Stetson Bank and the Flower garden Banks, but he and his friends didn’t return between 8 and 10 p.m., as expected. The watchstanders launched an airplane and crew to search for the men at 7:45 a.m., Wednesday.
Authorities located his truck at the Galveston Yacht Basin. The watchstanders checked with people aboard other boats and aircraft in the suspected area to see if they could locate the missing boaters and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to inform and enlist the help of other mariners.
The other crewmembers were only identified by their first names, Ryan and Felix. The fourth possible crewmember’s name is unknown.
“Filing an adequate float plan will always help the Coast Guard find overdue boaters in distress,” said Lt. Brian Sullivan, the sector command duty officer. “Having a proper EPIRB will also assist the Coast Guard in locating them.”
An EPIRB is an electronic position indicating radio beacon that sends a signal with your position to rescue coordinators when activated. Mariners are always encouraged to file a float plan, or let someone know exactly where they are going and when they will be back.
The men have not been confirmed to be in distress, however, the Coast Guard requests anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of the vessel and crew to contact the Sector Houston-Galveston command center at (713) 678-9000.