Coast Guard, cargo vessel Sea Pearl rescue 2 fisherman adrift 48 miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo and the Good Samaritan cargo vessel Sea Pearl rescued two fishermen Monday from a disabled and adrift 19-foot boat, approximately 48 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The two fishermen rescued are Carlos Rios Pérez, 43, and Miguel Nieves Valera, 50, who reportedly departed from Aguada, Puerto Rico Sunday morning on a fishing trip from which they expected to return Sunday afternoon.

The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo, with the assistance of the Marshall Islands flagged cargo vessel Sea Pearl, rescued fishermen Miguel Nieves Valera and Carlos Rios Perez, from Aguada, Puerto Rico, Monday, after their 19-foot fishing boat (in photo) became disabled and adrift 48 nautical miles, northwest of Puerto Rico. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo, with the assistance of the Marshall Islands flagged cargo vessel Sea Pearl, rescued fishermen Miguel Nieves Valera and Carlos Rios Perez, from Aguada, Puerto Rico, Monday, after their 19-foot fishing boat (in photo) became disabled and adrift 48 nautical miles, northwest of Puerto Rico. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a communication from the Marshall Island’s flagged bulk carrier Sea Pearl Sunday night, reporting the Sea Pearl was on scene with two men wearing lifejackets aboard a small boat adrift that seemed to be experiencing engine problems. The Sea Pearl remained on scene and delivered a heaving line to the fisherman while Coast Guard assistance arrived.

Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to deliver assistance and launched a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to assess the situation.

Upon arriving on scene, the crew of the Key Largo embarked the two men and proceeded to take the disabled fishing boat in tow.

“Thanks to the efforts of a merchant vessel coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard along with the safety equipment that the distressed boaters had onboard, we were able to safely return two people to port,” said Lt. Daniel Stepler, Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo commanding officer. “This case truly highlights the need for anyone heading to sea to verify that they have all required safety equipment onboard, prior to sailing.”

The Key Largo transported the men to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico Monday morning, where they were received by awaiting family and friends.

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