Coast Guard rescues 5 boaters in Puerto Rico and medevacs 2 off of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

USCG File Photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan rescue crews medevaced two crewmen aboard a cargo ship Friday morning in waters 10 nautical miles south of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and rescued five boaters Thursday night off of Condado, Puerto Rico.

“The response by both Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo and Station San Juan was timely and effective and resulted in the desired outcome; safety of all persons involved” said Cmdr. Jim Sutton, Coast Guard Sector San Juan chief of response operations.

Friday’s medevac

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a VHF Channel 16 radio transmission at 1:27 a.m. Friday from a crewman aboard the Panamanian flagged cargo vessel Noblesse. The crewman notified that five of the 24 crewmembers onboard were showing symptoms of possible food poisoning after they reportedly consumed mackerel fish.

The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo responded to rendezvous with the Noblesse Friday morning to conduct the medevac. The crew of the Key Largo embarked the severely ill vessel’s master and chief engineer, while the other affected crewmen remained aboard after their symptoms alleviated.

They crew of the Key Largo transferred the patients to awaiting emergency medical service personnel in Fredericksted to receive further medical care at the island’s Juan F. Luis Hospital.

Thursday’s rescue

Coast Guard watchtanders received notification Thursday night via 911 emergency operator, who relayed a report of a disabled jet boat with five passengers onboard; two men, two women and a 13-year-old girl, off the Marriott Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico.

The crew of a Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan 33-foot Special Purpose Craft was launched to assist the boaters in distress. The Coast Guard crew arrived on scene and took the vessel in tow to the Cataño Boat ramp in San Juan Harbor.

VHF Channel 16 marine radio transmissions have traditionally been international maritime distress frequency, monitored by search and rescue authorities.

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