Coast Guard searching for cargo vessel crew member north of Puerto Rico

Raymond EvansSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews are searching the Atlantic Ocean for a missing crew member suspected of having gone overboard from the 252-foot Chilean-flagged cargo vessel Berkay N during the vessel’s transit north of Puerto Rico.

Missing is Luis Leyva Aliaga, 62, a Chilean national and First Engineer aboard the Berkay N, after he did not report to his scheduled watch at 4 a.m. Thursday and the crew was unable to locate him onboard. Leyva Aliaga reportedly was last seen in the ship’s galley at 11p.m. Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard  Sector San Juan received a VHF, channel 16, marine radio communication from the Berkay N reporting the missing crew member at approximately 5:20 a.m. Thursday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans was diverted and is currently on scene searching for the missing crew member along with MH-65D Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard  Air Station Borinquen, an MH60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts and an HC-130 aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

The Berkay N was en route from Gibraltar to Cuba transiting approximately 45 nautical miles north of Puerto Rico, between San Juan and Aguadilla, from the time that Aliaga was last seen to the time he was determined missing.

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