Fears grow for the missing 13-year-old twin brothers who BOTH disappeared from the waters off Texas pier on Sunday, as rescuers warn the chances of siblings — who can’t swim — surviving in 67F waters are slim
- Josue and Jefferson Perez, the 13-year-old twins, were last seen wading in chest-deep water 20 yards from shore at Galveston’s Pleasure Pier on Sunday
- The couple, who cannot swim, only moved to the area in November, visiting the coast from their family home in Houston
- Rescuers warned rip currents could form near the pier, saying the water is a chilly 67F, reducing chances of survival
A Texan family is hoping for a miracle after 13-year-old twins disappeared into chest-deep water on a beach on Sunday, where they were wading despite not being able to swim.
Josue and Jefferson Perez had traveled from their home in Houston for a day at the beach in Galveston.
The boys were last seen around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday playing in the water at the Pleasure Pier, about 20 yards from shore.
Rip currents around the pier can be strong, officials said, and the sea temperature was a chilly 67F.
None of the family saw them go under water, but after they went missing, the relatives raised the alarm.
Twin brothers Josue and Jefferson Perez, 13, were last seen around 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Pleasure Pier in Galveston, wading in chest-deep water 20 yards from shore
Police are assisting the search in the dark on Sunday evening. The boys have still not been found 24 hours after they went missing
Galveston search and rescue teams have searched the area with helicopters and jet skis, but the boys have not yet been found.
“No one is confirming that they went underwater,” Galveston Beach Patrol Lieutenant Austin Kirwin said.
“So basically what happened was they were in the water, the parents lost sight of them for a second, and they looked up at that area again, and they didn’t see them again.”
The Galveston County Community Emergency Response Team, Beach Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers have been searching for the twins since 5:30 p.m. Sunday night. Divers also assist the teams.
Kirwin said weather conditions are hampering the search.
“The real limiting factor for us right now is this rolling fog,” he said at a news conference Monday.
Lieutenant Austin Kirwin, with Galveston Beach Patrol, said the waters were cold and there were many currents in the area
Rescuers are still hoping to find the boys alive in the water or on the shore
The Pleasure Pier in Galveston is a popular tourist attraction and lifeguards will be on the beach starting March 11
“That’s going to stop us from searching as hard as we want.
‘Moreover, the water is still relatively cold. It’s about 20°C this morning, so without a wetsuit the time you can stay in that water is shorter.’
He noted that the water swirling around objects shooting into the sea — such as jetties and the Pleasure Pier — is dangerous, as strong currents can cause cracks.
“In case you get caught in a gulf stream, the main point is don’t panic,” he said.
“If you just relax and try to stay calm, the current will eventually carry you back to shore.”
“The number one killer in drownings is that panic mode.”
From March 11, when the main swimming season starts, there are lifeguards on the beach.