Menhaden fishermen working in the Gulf of Mexico rescued six boaters, including two children, after their small craft capsized in the Mississippi Sound May 31.
Purse seine crews from the F/V Mississippi Sound and the F/V Frosty Mor, recovered two people from the water and four atop the overturned boat around 2 p.m.
Mississippi Sound captain Joel Deihl said the vessels responded to a Coast Guard broadcast about the boaters in distress and located them. After picking up the boaters the purse seine crews transferred them to the Coast Guard.
“That's a terrible situation to be in, and you can only imagine yourself being in that situation,” said Deihl told television station WLOX in Biloxi, Miss. “I'm proud of my crew for how they responded with the other vessels that were with us. Knowing that they can go home and see their families is a big lift off our shoulders.”
Both vessels are operated by Ocean Harvesters, an independent company that operates 30 menhaden vessels formerly owned by Omega Protein, and now supplies fish for Omega’s processing plants under long-term contracts.
“The safety of our crews and fellow boaters is always the top priority for Omega Protein and Ocean Harvesters,” according to a statement from Omega, noting how in 2020 the crew of the F/V Smuggler's Point helped rescue six boaters from a burning vessel off the coast of Ocean City, Md.