Coast Guard rescues man, 3 children from sinking boat off Galveston

GALVESTON (KTRK) -- A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a man and his three children Sunday morning, after their boat began to sink in the Galveston Fairway Anchorage, 10 miles southeast of the Galveston jetties.

Bruce Hecker called 911 at 1:50 a.m., who patched him into the Coast Guard. He says that he was fishing when his boat began to sink with his three children aboard. The man's children are Brian Durham, 22, Bruce Hecker, 15, and Dakota Hecker, 14.

An Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and Station Galveston boat crew arrived on scene at the same time, about an hour after the initial call. The rescue boat crew recovered the four individuals and determined the boat could be safely towed to shore.

Hecker said he and three of his sons went fishing around 9:30 on Saturday night.

Soon after, their boat malfunctioned while they were left in the dark.

"The flares actually floated off. We had flashlights," said Brian Durham, Bruce Hecker's son.

"I threw everything but my kids off, that's all that I wanted back," said Bruce Hecker.

They drifted farther and farther off-shore. As they called for help Bruce's son, Brian texted his wife.

"The phone was about to die," said Brian Durham.

When Brian couldn't reach her by a phone call, he texted her.

"I saw a text message around two something from him, from my husband saying, 'I love you. The boat's sinking'," said Victoria Durham.

She panicked and called her husband but couldn't reach him. Meanwhile, a dispatcher stayed in touch with Bruce while emergency crews were working to locate the boat.

By the time the Coast Guard reached them, they had drifted ten miles from the coast.

Victoria finally reached her husband on the phone.

"I just told him, 'I love him.' Glad that they're safe and can't wait until they get back," said Victoria Durham.

Nine hours later they were back home with their loved ones waiting to see them. null
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