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U.S. Coast Guard Suspends Search For Missing Boaters

CICELY MITCHELL, CBS Houston
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File photo of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue operation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

File photo of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue operation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) After The U.S. Coast Guard Rescue crews searched approximately 5,400 miles for four boaters missing since last week, the search was suspended Sunday.

The search for the four shrimpers went on through Sunday morning, with a Coast Guard cutter and an airplane used as the search vehicles. A rescue helicopter was also used to locate the four fishermen. At one time during the search, rescue crews located debris, but no signs of life.

According to reports, the Coast Guard identified three of the missing fishermen as: Don Windom, Duoc Dan Nguyen and Jamie Esquivel. Boat owner Larry Moore identified the fourth missing man as Charles Patricl; he was the vessel’s captain.

Despite not being able to locate and rescue four boaters, one boater, John Reynolds was successfully rescued from the boat called the “Nite Owl”. The Coast Guard rescued Reynolds in the Gulf of Mexico last Friday, then turned search efforts to four others.

The boaters were on a fishing boat early Friday morning. That boat sank and a distress call came in at approximately 3:30 a.m. about the craft and those on board.

Reports indicate that the boat went down approximately 115 miles southeast of Galveston.

Crews combed through a 5,400-square-mile area with planes, helicopters and watercraft looking for Reynolds’ four crew mates before calling off the search Sunday.

Reynolds and the four other men began their boating trip last Thursday after the “Nite Owl” left Port Bolivar, located near Galveston. The men planned an eight to 12 day fishing trip.

Reynolds a fisherman for 35 years, spent about two hours floating in the water, firing flares twice into the air, before a Coast Guard jet flew overhead. He was then flown to an oil rig in Houston and checked out by medical personnel there.

Reynolds was reportedly thankful to the Coast Guard for saving his life; he now begins dealing with the loss of his crew mates who were also his friends.

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