Coast Guard Spots Illegal Boats, Begins a Rescue 50 sharks were set free in Gulf of Mexico By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Dec 3, 2015 8:09 AM CST 14 comments Comments Awesome. (US Coast Guard) (Newser) – The US Coast Guard rescued 50 sharks caught illegally near Texas' South Padre Island on Tuesday. Coast Guard members were patrolling near the island when they spotted four Mexican fishing boats about 800 yards north of the US-Mexico maritime boundary line, reports WVUE. As the Coast Guard approached, officials say the boats fled into Mexican waters. However, members found illegal longline fishing gear and gill nets left behind, along with five dead sharks and 50 live ones. The sharks were then set free in the Gulf of Mexico, along with two tripletail that were also found about 400 yards offshore. "The Coast Guard is absolutely invested and engaged daily in combating the intense illegal fishing by Mexican [fishermen] in US waters," says a commander in Corpus Christi. "We sincerely appreciate any reports or information that can lead to stopping this criminal activity." The incident was actually the second time in a week that the Coast Guard had found illegal fishing nets in the area, per KHOU.