6 missing after boat reported sunk in Gulf

An extensive daylong search by the U.S. Coast Guard turned up no sign of six people who had radioed that their fishing boat was sinking in the Gulf of Mexico off Galveston.

Darkness prompted a halt Monday evening to the extensive, painstaking air and sea search. Plans were to resume the search Tuesday morning, Petty Officer Richard Brahm said.

No reports were received by telephone or other sources to confirm a vessel was overdue or that any of six people were missing, Brahm said. The Coast Guard needs the public's help in trying to work out who was on the boat and where it came from, he said.

"We weren't able to get it from the captain before the boat went down," Brahm said.

According to a Coast Guard statement, an unidentified man saying he was a fishing boat captain radioed Sunday afternoon saying the vessel was taking on water and that six people aboard planned to take to an orange life raft.

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"We have an onboard emergency. We are taking on water, sir," the unidentified boat captain said in a distress call to the Coast Guard.

The boat was reported to have been sinking somewhere off the coast of Galveston, about 50 miles southeast of Houston. At least three boats, a helicopter, a plane and two cutters are involved in the search for the missing fishermen in a stretch of water roughly the size of Delaware, according to the Coast Guard statement.

"All my electronics are down, and I couldn't give you an exact location," the boat's captain said in the distress call. Brahm said authorities could not be more specific about where to search for the boat because the distress call was received by several communication towers.