Description: With one client aboard with me, we set out for an afternoon fishing San Antonio reefs. We were about 3 miles out into the bay from Seadrift boat ramp. We noticed a 30-40 foot shrimp boat going in circles directly in our path.
There was a young man on the aft (back) of the boat, frantically waving his arms at us. As we pulled in close to him, he put the shrimp boat in neutral and I pulled along side.
He came out of the bridge area, screaming that the Captain of the boat had had a major heart attack.
I tied off to the vessel and we hurriedly went aboard. The captain was ghost white and barely breathing. He had fell into the bilge area and was caught. The first mate was hysterical. I settled him down and told Steve, the man with me, that we had to get the captain out of the bridge area, which was over 100 degrees and the air inside was very full of diesel smoke.
On the third attempt to lift the captain out of the hole, thank God, we got him free. The man was close to 300 pounds and his complete hips and big belly didn't want to come back out of the hole.
We had called 911 and the Coast Guard and as soon as I could get the first mate behind the controls, the big shrimper headed to shore.
Once we got the gentleman out onto the open deck with fresh air passing through his lungs, he came to his senses and became aware of his surroundings.
We got him to the marina in Seadrift about 45 minutes after going aboard. The ambulance, game warden and the coast guard were all waiting on us when we came to port. Several men were present to move him into the ambulance and off he went.
I thank God for us being at the right place at the right time. I feel quite sure that the man would have died if we hadn't got him dislodged and into fresh air.
Fishing was just something to do after this exciting, anxious time we spent yesterday.
Last night the game warden called me to inform me that the wife wanted to thank us for helping her husband.