Dominican Republic Fishing Captain Found, Coast Guard Continues Search for Others

MIAMI – The captain of the fishing vessel carrying 39 people that capsized 20 miles north of Monti Cristi, Dominican Republic was found in stable condition on Isla De La Tortue, Haiti this morning.

Ramon Pichardo, 38, a Dominican Republic resident, reported he was with six other survivors in a wooden box and decided to swim to the island north of Haiti for help. Pichardo called his wife at 7:30 a.m. from a phone in a village on the island.

A Coast Guard crew from the cutter Forward was able to transfer Pichardo from the island to the cutter and provide him with medical care. He is reported to be suffering from mild exposure.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Dominican Republic navy and now the Haitian coast guard are focusing search efforts around the waters of Isla de la Tortue for the six people as well as the 13 other fishermen who remain missing.

The Coast Guard Cutter Forward, an H-60 Jayhawk helicopter, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, an HU-25 Flacon jet and vessels from Haiti and the Dominican Republic continue to search for survivors.

So far, 20 fishermen have survived the capsizing. According to survivors, the 39 passengers aboard the fishing vessel initiated their trip at approximately 5 p.m. Monday from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to Silver Bank, located 60 miles north of Puerto Plata. Their fishing vessel capsized at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday.

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