Coast Guard recovers surfer’s body off Steps Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico

d7SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter recovered the body of a surfer just off Steps Beach Tuesday afternoon in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a 911 call at 2:16 p.m. Tuesday reporting a missing 28-year-old male surfer in the area of Steps Beach wearing grey trunks.

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen was launched to the scene, while Puerto Rico Emergency Management rescue crews also responded to assist with the search.

At 2:55 p.m. Tuesday the surfer was located by the Dolphin helicopter crew face down and unresponsive.  The crew of the Dolphin helicopter lowered their rescue swimmer, recovered the surfer’s body and conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation enroute to the Centro Medico Hospital in Mayaguez, where medical personnel pronounced him deceased.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of this young man on the loss of their loved one,” said Capt. Robert Warren, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander.

WARNING

The National Weather Service has published high surf and small craft advisories throughout Wednesday afternoon for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  This will result in large breaking action and very dangerous rip currents along the north facing coasts of Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A rip current is a powerful channel of water that flows quickly away from shore. They often occur at low spots or breaks in the sandbar. Any object or person caught in a rip current can be pulled out into deeper seas.

If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic. The way to escape a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against the current, as you can become easily exhausted, even if you are a strong swimmer.

A Small Craft Advisory means that winds of 22 to 33 knots and/or seas of 7-feet and greater are expected to produce hazardous marine conditions for small craft.  Inexperienced mariners expecially those operating smaller vessel should avoid navigating in these conditions.

For the latest weather advisories for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands visit http://ift.tt/1DqWHWA.

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