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Harvey: 17 people rescued by Coast Guard in southern Texas

Coast Guard rescue

HOUSTON -- Aircrews with the U.S. Coast Guard rescued 17 residents in distress Saturday, as Harvey caused widespread destruction in southern parts of the state.

Two helicopters aircrews were dispatched to help ships near Port Aransas, Texas, earlier Saturday after receiving distress calls.

They rescued seven people from a tugboat near Aransas Pass, four people from the vessel Signet Enterprise and four others aboard the vessel Sandy Point.

"This was a great effort between our Coast Guard aircrews and Signet Constellation's crew in very dangerous conditions," Capt. Tony Hahn, commander of Sector Corpus Christi, said in a statement.

Video shot by the Coast Guard showed rescuers pulling people in life jackets from the water near the Signet Enterprise as it took on water and appeared to be sinking.

Harvey was the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. in over a decade, and the most powerful storm to hit Texas since 1961. The storm made landfall late Friday night as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130 mph that whipped coastal communities overnight. Winds slowed throughout Saturday as Harvey was downgraded to a Category 1 storm and then to a tropical storm. 

Two others were rescued in Houston after a Coast Guard crew spotted and hoisted a man, woman and their dog to safety around 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The residents were sent to a hospital in Corpus Christi where they were reportedly in good condition.

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