Coast Guard searches for overdue aircraft, missing pilot

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews are searching for an overdue aircraft reportedly with one pilot on board, who was traveling from Ponce to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico Saturday night.

Missing is, José Alberto Cintrón, 52, a resident of Manati, Puerto Rico, who was last heard from at approximately 11:15 p.m. Saturday just prior to taking off from the Mercedita Airport in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Cintrón was reportedly heading to the Eugenio María de Hostos Airport in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where he was expected to land.

There are no reports of Cintrón landing the aircraft in Mayaguez or any other airports in the area. Cintrón was traveling aboard a single-engine Cessna 152 aircraft white with maroon stripes; tail number N5518P.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received a call at 5:41 a.m. Sunday from a friend of the missing pilot, who reported that Cintrón was expected to arrive in Mayaguez but never landed there.

Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol rescue crews have searched for the missing pilot and aircraft by conducting surface and air searches from Ponce to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico with HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla; two Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft; two Civil Air Patrol fixed-wing aircraft and the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo. Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces for Rapid Action (F.U.R.A.) and Puerto Rico State Emergency Management rescue crews are also searching for the aircraft and missing pilot.

Anyone with information that would assist in finding the whereabouts of this missing pilot and aircraft can contact the Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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