SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crews of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter and a Puerto Rico Police marine unit rescued a female diver Saturday from rough waters just off the Mar Chiquita Beach rock cliff in Manati on the northern coast of Puerto Rico.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a 911 call at 12:49 p.m. Saturday relaying a report from Marielis Rodriguez, a bystander at the beach who witnessed two divers, a man and a woman in full dive equipment, swimming to shore with difficulties against the strong currents. Coast Guard watchstanders proceeded to divert an MH-65D Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen from a training mission to locate and rescue the divers. A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) marine unit also responded to the call.
As the Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police rescue units arrived on scene, the male diver was able to safely reach shore and exit the water.
Shortly thereafter the Coast Guard helicopter aircrew arrived on scene and located the diver holding on to a red flotation device and signaling the helicopter for assistance by waiving her arms. As the Coast Guard helicopter prepared to approach the diver, the crew noticed that the Puerto Rico Police marine unit in the area. The Coast Guard crew made contact and vectored-in the FURA marine unit to the diver’s position. Once alongside the diver, the FURA marine unit safely pulled and rescued the diver from the rough waters and transported her to their boat station in Vega Baja.
Before departing the scene, the Coast Guard aircrew confirmed that the male diver had safely made it to shore.
“Thanks to the call from a concerned citizen to 911 a life was saved from a very dangerous situation,” said Lt. Matthew Udkow, Air Station Borinquen MH-65D helicopter aircraft commander. “Our appreciation goes out to our fellow partners from the Puerto Rico Police for the effective communication and coordination maintained between our crews, which allowed for an expedited rescue.”