Coast Guard searching for missing boater between U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

65 New OrleansSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews are actively searching Sunday for a missing boater in waters between St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Missing is Alejandro Lopez, 24, a resident of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was seen Thursday aboard a dinghy in Hull Bay, St. Thomas and was last seen by another boater Friday, who reported seeing him aboard a dinghy off Culebrita Island, Puerto Rico.

The boater claimed that he spoke and provided gasoline to Lopez, after being asked if he had any to spare.

Watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector San Juan were initially contacted by Lopez’s father Saturday afternoon, who reported he had not seen or heard of his son since Thursday when he left the residence.

Coast Guard watchtanders immediately proceeded to launch an MH-65D Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser to search for Lopez.  Watchstanders also transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters and mariners in the vicinity of the ongoing situation.

Since Saturday, Coast Guard assets involved in the search are:

  • MH65D Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
  • Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser
  • Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft
  • Civil Air Patrol fixed-wing aircraft.

Anyone who has recently seen or with information on the possible whereabouts of Alejandro Lopez is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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