New Coast Guard station named after Port Isabel hero

By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com

Officials gathered in Corpus Christi last Friday to dedicate the new Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi’s newest facility, named after Port Isabel native, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Pablo Valent.

Adm. Paul F. Zunkuft, Coast Guard commandant, shakes hands with Adolfo Garza, who represented the Valent family during the Valent Hall dedication ceremony at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi on Mar. 2, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Edward Wargo).

According to the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), Valent was born in then-Point Isabel on Aug. 26, 1884. With seafaring in his blood, Valent “served as the captain of the Brazos Coast Guard Station on South Padre Island,” reads a biography of him on the TSHA website.

Valent was a fisherman, a businessman, a religious man and a politically active Democrat. But perhaps his most indelible mark on history came in 1919, when Valent rescued the eight-man crew of the Cape Horn, a schooner which was floundering in seas roughed up by a Category 4 hurricane, according to information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Valent and a small crew rescued the men on Sept. 16, 1919. The vessel ultimately capsized. The hurricane, simply called Storm Number 2, had 125 mph sustained winds and ultimately resulted in 284 deaths, according to weather.gov.

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