SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter located two missing divers who were rescued by a Good Samaritan Tuesday afternoon, approximately 13 miles nautical miles from Puerto Real in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
The divers had been missing since 10:15a.m.Tuesday, when the dive boat operator reported them missing.
Search and Rescue Coordinators at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a phone call from a fishing market store that relayed a message from the operator of the dive boat who had contacted the store by a cell phone. The divers reportedly where fishing for lobster, between buoys six and eight in Cabo Rojo, when the dive boat operator lost sight of them.
Watchstanders launched a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier to search for the divers, and alerted the Puerto Rico Police and Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency of the developing situation.
The Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene with the dive boat and lowered a VHF radio to establish communications with the dive boat operator. At approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter located the two divers in good health, approximately three nautical miles north of buoy six, they had drifted over a mile and a half from their entry point into the water. The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter vectored-in the Black Beard, one of multiple Good Samaritan vessels in the area that were also searching, to the divers position from where they were rescued.
“This case speaks to the importance of having a proper marine VHF marine radio to communicate a distress and the selflessness of mariners coming to the aide of those in peril,” said Lt. Cmdr. Catherine Phillips, Sector San Juan Command Center supervisor. “The divers are very fortunate to have survived.”