GALVESTON – A routine run to and from an oil production platform south of here turned out to be not so routine for a crew from Vermilion Parish.

     The M/V Ms. Judy, with captains Timmy Bodin and Ryan Nugier of Abbeville and Seamen Librado “Charlie” Medina of Delcambre and Wren Jones of Mississippi were going into Galveston to pick up supplies.

     The trip back to Galveston was rough, with five to seven foot seas and squalls and 25 mile per hour winds.

     “We were listening to distress calls on the VHF radio,” said Bodin.  “Then Wren called out “What’s that?”

     “It was a capsized vessel with four hanging on to the hull.  After three seconds of shock, our training took over and we hit the man overboard alarm.”

     “Our crew responded quickly.  In 14 minutes, we had our ladder/platform on the side and all four people on our vessel headed for safe harbor.”

     “The ladder/platform had just been purchased two days earlier by Judy Dartez, who owns Tobias, Inc. and for whom the Ms. Judy is named, and port captain Tony Morvant.

     DeHart Shipyard in Abbeville constructed the ladder/platform for the rescue and safe retrieval of persons in water.

     The equipment had been purchased at the recommendation of the U.S. Coast Guard and replaced a rope ladder, which was harder to use during rescues.

     “The ladder turned out to be the key to the safe resuce because we would never have gotten the men up the rope ladder,” Bodin said.

    For the rescue, Bodin was at the helm and maneuvered the 135-foot vessel to the windward side of the capsized vessel while Nugier climbed down on the platform.

     “The people were so exhausted from hanging on to the hull of the overturned vessel for over an hour that they could not climb the ladder.  Captain Ryan literally carried them up the ladder while Charlie threw the life ring and pulled the people over to the ramp.”

     “Bodin said that Jones served as lookout for him.

     After the four men were pulled onto the ship, they were made as comfortable as possible with blankets and hot coffee.

     While the Ms. Judy has assisted in putting out ship fires and the towing in of stranded boats, this was the first time the crew actually rescued people out of the water.

     “The rescue went smoothly because of weekly drills and safety training provided by Tobias Inc. so the drills paid off this day,” Bodin said.

     The rescued men had been out for a pleasure fishing trip in a “little” fishing boat, Bodin said.  The area is popular for fishing and it is not unusual to see recreational fishing boats there.

     “They were scared and worn out.  They couldn’t have held on much longer and the way the current was going, it would have drug them offshore.

     “We told the guys we were sorry about their bad luck with their boat.  They said they had great luck because we were there to save their lives.”

     Once everyone was safe and on land, Bodin said, the U.S. Coast Guard told the crew this was an “exceptional rescue” because the Ms. Judy is so high off the water and the seas were so rough.

     Then it was back to work as usual and the Ms. Judy resumed its normal activities...all the time keeping an eye out for fellow mariners.

Vermilion Crew Saves Day

Rescues four off the Coast Of Galveston

From Staff Reports

(Pictured above)  The M/V Ms. Judy dwarfs the five to seven foot seas in the Gulf of Mexico as they return from the rescue of four fishermen south of Galveston.

(Pictured at bottom)  Captain Timmy Bodin (from left), Seaman Librado “Charlie” Medina and Captain Ryan Nugier stand on the M/V Ms. Judy in front of the ladder/platform used in the rescue.

142ND YEAR – NO. 20

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1998

Text Box:    Ms. Judy Rescue

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