Coast Guard rescues overdue kayaker stranded on the uninhabited island

The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 rescue helicopter rescued overdue kayaker Josh Kaufman (center) during the morning of March 17, 2017, after being stranded on the uninhabited island of Desecheo, approximately 13 nautical miles off Rincon, Puerto Rico. Kaufman, 25, a resident of Fla. was visiting his family in Puerto Rico, when he was reported being overdue to the Coast Guard from a kayak trip in Rincon March 16, 2017. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 rescue helicopter rescued overdue kayaker Josh Kaufman (center) during the morning of March 17, 2017. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter rescued overdue kayaker, Josh Kaufman, Friday morning, after he was located stranded on the uninhabited island of Desecheo, Puerto Rico.

Kaufman, 25, a resident of Fla., was visiting his family in Puerto Rico, when he was reported being overdue to the Coast Guard Thursday evening after he did not return from his kayak trip from a beach in Rincon.

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter searching for Kaufman sighted a man at approximately 9:20 a.m. Friday, who appeared to be stranded on the island of Desecheo, approximately 13 nautical miles from the coast of Rincon, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard helicopter headed to Air Station Borinquen to refuel and then returned to Desecheo, where the crew deployed their rescue swimmer and confirmed the man to be Kaufman. Kaufman was hoisted onboard the helicopter and transported to Air Station Borinquen, where he was received by Emergency Medical Service personnel.

“This rescue highlights the importance of having a float plan and a responsible person to promptly notify the Coast Guard when a boater is overdue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Catherine Phillips, Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center supervisor. “The Mona Passage is a treacherous body of water, this man if very fortunate to have survived.”

Assets involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopters
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant
  • Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action air and surface assets
  • Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency land-based rescue crews

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