Retired Montgomery County Cpl. Ken Henderson who who retired on January 31 of this year from the Jail Division survived almost thirty-six hours in the Gulf of Mexico.
Early Thursday morning he and a friend Ed Coen also of Conroe went out on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico in his twin engine thirty foot Scarab fishing boat. He was to call his wife that night but the call never came.
Friday morning when he once again did not call she contacted a family friend who started the ball rolling to locate the two. A Matagorda deputy checked with the hotel they were staying at and discovered his belongings were still there.
Later, Friday Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office found Henderson’s truck and trailer with no boat parked at a boat launch. The United States Coast Guard was notified and patrol boats from Freeport, and Port Aransas were dispatched. Shortly after they were joined by a Coast Guard jet and helicopter from Corpus Christi Coast Guard station.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. the Coast Guard was notified by operators of an offshore drilling rig that Henderson had just swum up and advised the his boat had sunk and his partner Ed Cullen remained in the area in a life vest.
At 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning a boat found Coen floating in a life vest and notified the Coast Guard. A helicopter responded to the area and a swimmer hoisted Cullen up to the helicopter. Cullen was flown to a hospital in Corpus Christi where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Henderson started the academy at the age of 19 before joining the United States Marines. While in the Marines he served in the Presidential Honor Guard. He then returned as a police officer in Montgomery. He then went to work in the jail in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Of the time working for the Sheriff’s Office he spent seven years working Lake Patrol, rescuing boaters, and patrolling the lake. Henderson also was assigned to the SWAT unit.
Henderson is also the owner of Kenco Arms which builds custom rifles and shotguns.
The Coast Guard is investigating the incident