Coast Guard, Sea Tow rescue 2 aboard sinking vessel off Culebra, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard crews and a ESF-10 Hurricane Maria recovery team combine efforts with a Sea Tow vessel Friday morning to rescue two boaters whose vessel was taking on water and partially submerged approximately seven miles west of the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by MH-65D Air Station Borinquen crew)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard crews and a ESF-10 Hurricane Maria recovery team combined efforts with a Sea Tow vessel Friday morning to rescue two boaters whose vessel was taking on water and partially submerged approximately seven miles west of the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a distress call from the boaters via VHF radio and diverted a MH-65D Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen to assist in locating the vessel which was not equipped with GPS. After being contacted by the Coast Guard, a nearby SeaTow boat arrived on scene and recovered the two boaters, while the Coast Guard helicopter provided support coverage overhead. The Coast Guard confirmed that both boaters were transported to shore after they were safely recovered with no injuries or medical concerns.

Sea Tow was later able to tow the partially submerged vessel to Puerto Del Rey Marina, with the intention of refloating it.

“A key part of the Coast Guard’s being able to rapidly assist in situations like this one, is that these mariners had and used a VHF radio on board which allowed us to respond to their distress call and prompted the assistance of a nearby Sea Tow vessel crew, whose immediate response enabled the quick rescue of the boaters,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brett Workman, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for Sector San Juan and Deputy Incident Commander for the ESF-10 Hurricane Maria Response. “The boaters were also prepared wearing their life jackets.”

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