Man drowns near Texas City Dike

A U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer is lowered from a helicopter after a fisherman drowned near the Texas City Dike on Monday.

By NEAL MORA/Special to The Daily News

TEXAS CITY — A Houston man wade fishing near the Texas City Dike drowned Monday morning, officials said.

Police identified the man as Curtis Ivory Ward, 59.

Members of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol were coincidentally conducting a training exercise in the water about a mile north of the base of the Texas City Dike when they came across Ward’s body shortly after 10:30 a.m., Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis said.

The man was wearing fishing gear and was dead when the lifeguards found him, Davis said.

Ward was wade fishing with a friend on Mosquito Island near the dike and had walked several yards out into the water when he disappeared, Texas City fire Capt. Mark Pandanell said.

Ward was wearing a life jacket, but it appeared water had filled his waders and may have weighed him down, Pandanell said.

Steep drop-offs in the water near Mosquito Island and waves generated by passing tanker ships may have contributed to the drowning, Pandanell said.

Initial witness reports indicated another person may have gone underwater, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter searched the area.

Texas City fire boats also conducted a search.

The search was called off shortly before 1:45 p.m., and officials believe Ward was the only person who drowned near the dike Monday, police said.

Ward is the second man to drown in June while wade fishing off Mosquito Island near the Texas City Dike.

The body of a 57-year-old man from the Clear Lake area was found in the waters off the dike June 14.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

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