Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police rescue 2 fisherman from capsized vessel north of Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police rescued two fishermen Thursday night and are searching with surface and air assets for two others who remain missing, after their vessel capsized in waters north of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.

The four fishermen reportedly departed on a fishing trip Thursday morning from Cerro Gordo Beach in Vega Baja when their vessel capsized at approximately 12p.m.  All four men were reportedly wearing lifejackets when they went into the water.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a report Thursday night from Ricardo Román, a citizen in the area who reported seeing from shore a red flare out at sea.

Watchstanders immediately launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to search for a possible vessel in distress, and they alerted a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit in the area that also responded.

Upon arriving on scene, the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter located a first fisherman after initially sighting a beam of light from a flashlight that was coming from the water.  Shortly thereafter the Coast Guard helicopter crew located a second fisherman two nautical miles south from the first fisherman’s position.  The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter vectored in the Puerto Rico Police marine unit who safely recovered both fisherman from the water.

The two fisherman were transferred from the Puerto Rico Police marine unit to a Good Samaritan vessel that assisted in transporting the rescued men to Cerro Gordo Beach in Vega Alta,  where they were received by awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel.

Coast Guard rescue crews involved in the search are:

  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
  • A 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement  and a 45-foot Response Boat Medium from Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan.
  • An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

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