Coast Guard rescues 3 near Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

A 23-foot wellcraft vessel sit aground Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 near Punta Aguila, Cabo Rojo. The wellcraft vessel ran aground with three people aboard who were injured during the incident. U.S. Coast Guard photo/video courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen

A 23-foot wellcraft vessel sit aground Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 near Punta Aguila, Cabo Rojo.  U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen

CABO ROJO, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard performs emergency medical evacuation of boating accident victim near Punta Aguila.

Sunday evening, Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center received a call via 911 that the operator of a 23-foot wellcraft vessel had run aground and reported he and two passengers on the vessel that were suffering injuries sustained during the incident near Punta Aguila, Cabo Rojo.

Upon notification, the Sector San Juan Command Center immediately coordinated the launch of a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla. With the help of Fuerzas Unidas de Rapida Accion (F.U.R.A.), they were able to locate the victims.

The aircraft, equipped with a rescue swimmer, provided emergency medical care to the victim suffering back injuries. The Coast Guard aircraft hoisted the victim after the rescue swimmer stabilized him onto the litter with a back brace; the evacuated passenger was recovered in stable condition, having sustained injuries to his back and face. He was then immediately transported to Centro Medico in Mayaguez, where he received additional medical treatment.

The two other victims were transported to Centro Medico via EMS with assistance from F.U.R.A.  

The aircraft pilot, Lieutenant Matthew Udkow, noted, “This, being my last scheduled SAR duty day, after a 20 year flying career, highlights the reason why I became a rescue pilot in the first place. I will truly miss working with professionals like the members of the crew this evening, and I am blessed to have been a small part in saving over 74 lives during my career.”

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