Coast Guard and F.U.R.A. combine efforts to rescue 3 stranded swimmers

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crews of a Coast Guard helicopter and Puerto Rico Police rescue crews combined efforts to rescue three of five swimmers who were stranded on a reef off Playa Escondida, Fajardo, after the group was taken out by the riptide away from the beach Friday afternoon.

One of the remaining two swimmers drowned, while the other was able to swim safely to shore. The body of the deceased swimmer was recovered from the water by the crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action F.U.R.A. marine unit on scene.

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coordinators at Sector San Juan received a 911 call at 2:08 p.m. reporting that a bystander at Playa Escondida notified that a group of swimmers was in distress.

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla diverted a HH-65 Dolphin helicopter to the scene. The Coast Guard helicopter crew located the three swimmers stranded on a reef, they deployed their rescue swimmer and a raft to assist them. The crew of a F.U.R.A. helicopter also arrived on scene and deployed two divers who assisted the Coast Guard rescue swimmer in taking the three people off the reef and transferring them to the F.U.R.A. marine unit on scene.

The crew of the F.U.R.A. marine unit transported the deceased swimmer along with the three others who were rescued to the F.U.R.A. boat station in Puerto Chico, Fajardo, where EMS and family members were waiting for their arrival.

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