4 Still Missing, 3 in Hospital After Rescue Trip Goes Wrong in Houston Flood

Melanie Sun
By Melanie Sun
August 30, 2017US News
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4 Still Missing, 3 in Hospital After Rescue Trip Goes Wrong in Houston Flood
Photos of the four missing family members who took their boat out to help stranded residents in Houston floodwaters. (Screenshot via Cristina Govea/Facebook)

UPDATE: Two of the volunteers, Jorge Perez, 33, married father-of-two, and Yahir Vizueth, 25, have been confirmed dead. Benjamin Vizueth, 31 and Gustavo Rodriguez-Hernandez, 40, are still missing.

A family of four volunteers is missing in Houston floodwaters after leaving to help rescue a friend with their boat on Monday afternoon, Aug. 28.

The families of the volunteers fear for the four men after learning that all seven people on board the boat had jumped into the floodwaters in order to avoid electrocution. The boat had been pushed by fast-moving water into an electric pole.

Three of the seven passengers have been accounted for. They were found clinging to trees in the area on Tuesday morning after spending the night in the water.

They have been identified as Jose Vizuelt, 30, and a reporter and photographer from a British media outlet who had joined the Vizuelt extended family on their rescue attempt.

All three men were sent to hospital where they are being treated for burns, reported ABC.

Family members posted a message on social media on Monday night when they became concerned about the men’s whereabouts at nightfall.

The men were last seen around 3 p.m. Aug. 28, as they launched their boat into the waters at Greens Bayou, near Wallisville Road and Normandy Street to help a family friend who was trapped in their home surrounded by floodwaters, reported ABC.

One of the missing men posted this video of their boat and the passengers on board as they set out on Monday afternoon, fighting the wind while navigating the boat through the streets of an evacuated suburb.

Two of the men are brothers and they had started rescuing people Monday morning. They received a call from a family member in the area who was trapped, and then began picking up strangers.

This is just one of the stories of the many citizens, like the Vizuelt family, who have taken their private boats to help victims of the Hurricane Harvey tragedy.

The four missing men are identified as Ben Vizuelt, 31, Yahir Vizuelt, 25, George Lopez, 31, and Gustavo Rodriguez-Hernandez, 40.

Their families are desperate for any news after almost two days of not knowing about their condition.

According to Perla Jaquez, Ben Vizuelt’s wife, they had only one lifejacket on board.

“They can swim but the currents are very strong and with the rain it is only getting worse for us,” Jaquez told ABC. The couple has three children, aged 17, 9, and 3.

Jaquez told reporters that she is prepared for the worst, but remains hopeful that her husband and other family members can be found, “I am praying for them to be saved—that we can find them stuck in a tree, but safe. We just hope they are alive and safe. They have already been there two days.”

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