Coast Guard searching for missing fisherman south of Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews are searching Thursday for a missing fisherman after his boat capsized in the Caribbean Sea with one other fisherman onboard, approximately one and a half nautical miles offshore between the Bays of Guanica and Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.

Still missing is Victor Manuel Aponte, 78, resident of the Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, who reportedly was not wearing a life jacket when last seen by his fishing partner after the vessel capsized.

Jimmy Gonzaléz Colón, 58, and also a resident of Peñuelas, survived the ordeal after he reportedly swam for hours during the night and reached Tamarindo Beach in Guanica. Gonzalez Colón reportedly was assisted by a friend who went out on a boat at day break to search for the fishermen, and in the process, located González Colón and safely recovered him from the beach.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received initial notification of the incident at 7:30 a.m. Thursday through a phone call from one of the fishermen’s family members. The family member reported the fishermen had gone out Wednesday night from Boquete Beach in Peñuelas aboard an 18-foot recreational vessel and had not returned early Thursday morning when they were expected.

Coast Guard rescue crews are searching with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen and a Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo. Also, Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine units assisted with the search efforts.

The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo in home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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