12 Rescued, 1 Missing from Overturned Fishing Boat

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue crews rescued a man and are searching alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crews for another, after their fishing vessel Norelis, carrying a total of 13 passengers, became disabled and capsized Friday, approximately four nautical miles south of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

The 11 other passengers were recovered in 10-foot seas and 20-knot winds by two crewmen aboard the good Samaritan vessel Maruca that arrived on scene to provide assistance to the Norelis.

The incident was initially reported to Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center by the two-man crew aboard the good Samaritan vessel Maruca, who relayed to Coast Guard controllers that they had received a radio communication from the fishing vessel Norelis reporting engine problems and that they were taking on water. Shortly after the Maruca arrived on scene the Norelis capsized. The crew of the Maruca reported to Coast Guard controllers that they were not able to recover two of the persons from the capsized vessel.

Coast Guard controllers diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to the scene, while Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for the two persons in the water. The helicopter crew located the survivor in the water around 8:23 a.m. Friday, deployed their rescue swimmer and hoisted the survivor safely aboard the aircraft.

The helicopter crew transported the survivor to Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla, where he was transferred to awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel. The 11 passengers recovered by the good Samaritan vessel Maruca were transported to Mona Island and transferred to Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources personnel on the island.

Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Caribbean Air and Marine Branch helicopters are currently on scene with the cutter Key Largo searching for the missing man.

Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan.

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