New life buoy to help save lives

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Fisherman snagging fish off the jetties for fun may one day have to toss in the new life buoy to help save someone who is drowning.

“More than five people per year fall off the jetty,” said Michael Johnson, chief of Cameron county beach patrol. “It’s dangerous waters.”

Mission resident, Heriberto Ramos loves fishing off the jetty he said.

“It’s great fishing,” Ramos said. “But you have to keep one eye on your pole and one eye on the ocean otherwise you could get into trouble,” Ramos said. “If you fall off the jetty you could break a leg.”

Unpredictable water crashing against the jetty can cause people to slip off the large slippery rocks at any time and into the dangerous riptide even expert swimmers could have problems getting out off.

“Hopefully the person grabs on to the buoy and can be rescued,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the buoy went up two weeks ago, but took about two years to get the buoy cabinet approved for the jetties.

The jetty belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers and beach patrol had to obtain approval before placing it there to help save lives.

The whole thing including the supplies cost $1,000.

Cameron County Beach Patrol money was used to pay for the buoy cabinet and to purchase all the equipment.

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