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Olmito man shares story of dramatic rescue from shrimp boat off South Padre Island


An Olmito man is sharing his story after the Coast Guard rescued him and three others near the jetties at Boca Chica on Monday.

Felipe Hernandez says he feels lucky to be alive. 

“The sea is incredible,” Hernandez said in Spanish. “It gives, but it takes.”

A four-person crew had been taking advantage of the shrimping over the last few weeks. On Monday as they were heading back, they ran into dangerously high seas and a monster wave crashed into them. 

“I’ve never seen a wave break three windows,” Hernandez said. “It was a big hit. I looked at the equipment and saw the wave, and the water hit me.”

As water poured through the windows, equipment was thrown around, triggering an emergency help beacon onboard. 

Hernandez said all he could do was cover his face with his arms. 

“It scared me,” said Hernandez, tearing up. “After 32 years… and you see something like that, you just give up and see what happens. You never stop learning about the sea.”

The crew patched up the broken windows and had made it to Boca Chica when they were hit again. 

Hernandez said they were stuck on the rocks when they were rescued by the Coast Guard with a helicopter. 

All four onboard made it out safely. 

A longtime shrimper, Hernandez said he is happy to be back on land with his wife and grandkids. 



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