Mexican fishing vessels heading to Port of Brownsville ahead of storm

Mexican fishing vessels are heading to Texas waters — this time legally.

State and Federal agencies, along with Port of Brownsville and Port Isabel officials, are working together to provide safe harbor in the Port of Brownsville for 45 Mexican fishing vessels seeking refuge ahead of Tropical Storm Dolly, Tuesday.

On Monday, 13-foot seas chased these vessels north from the Bay of Campeche.  Seas off of South Padre Island are forecasted for 11 feet Tuesday evening. At approximately 10 a.m., the Coast Guard began receiving requests from Mexican fishing vessels from the Tampico and Campeche fishing fleet requesting safe harbor from the Captain of the Port.

“This multi-agency effort is to primarily ensure the safety of mariners at sea,” said Lt. Michael Bell, commanding officer, Coast Guard Station South Padre Island. “We are working with all of our partners to provide a safe harbor for these vessels to wait out the storm. We will also take every measure necessary to ensure the safety and security of our local community and port.”

“The Coast Guard’s immediate response to these requests is a reflection of our ability to mobilize the Corpus Christi Regional Coordination Mechanism and our Port Coordination Team simultaneously,” said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. “Our positive working relationship with our partnering agencies allows us to quickly handle this challenging and dynamic event.”

The Coast Guard is anticipating more requests from the Mexican fishing vessels to enter the Port of Brownsville for safe harbor.

The storm and rain could be beneficial to many parched areas of South Texas, as it is expected to dump up to several inches in some places.