SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hoisted a man to safety Thursday, while the crew of a Puerto Rico Police marine unit rescued one other from a capsized vessel that had four men onboard, approximately one and half miles east of Mar Chiquita Beach in Manatí, Puerto Rico.
Two of the men from the capsized vessel were able to swim safely to shore. The men were reportedly diving from a boat when a wave struck the stern which inundated and caused the vessel to capsize.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Rescue Sub-Center received a phone call from a tourist in the area at approximately 12:15 p.m. Thursday, who reported that a vessel with four people on board had just capsized.
Coast Guard watchtanders launched a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla and transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising mariners in the area of the ongoing distress. A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit and helicopter arrived on scene and located two of the men clinging to the side of the capsized vessel. Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene, deployed their rescue swimmer to the capsized vessel and hoisted one of the men onboard. The remaining man was rescued by the crew of the Puerto Rico Police marine unit.
The Coast Guard helicopter transported the rescued man shore-side to a responding Emergency Medical Service unit from Manatí for evaluation.
“This case resulted in a successful rescue thanks to the close coordination of all responding units, and in a large part, thanks to the diligence and selflessness displayed by the tourist who delayed his flight to maintain communication with our watchstanders and provide vital information until the rescue was completed,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ricardo Santacana, Coast Guard Sector San Juan operational unit controller.