SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Two overdue fishermen were rescued by Good Samaritans early Wednesday morning just off the western coast of Outer Brass north of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Rescued were brothers Francis Brian and Edver Brian, who were located inside a small cove safely aboard their 16-foot fishing boat that had become disabled.
“This case highlights the importance of filing a float plan and letting someone responsible know the details of your trip, as well as, the selflessness of fellow mariners looking out for each other,” said Lt. Cmdr. Catherine Phillips, Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center supervisor. “The notification and information received by friends and family proved to be valuable to the search and led to the prompt rescue of the two fishermen.”
Coast Guard watchtanders in Sector San Juan were initially contacted by Edver’s wife, at 12:38 a.m. Wednesday, who reported the men had not yet returned after they departed Tuesday afternoon on a fishing trip from Hull Bay in St. Thomas.
Coast Guard watchstanders launched a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft vessel from Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas to search. They also diverted a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft and transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters in the area to be on the lookout and report any sightings of the overdue fishermen or their vessel to the Coast Guard.
During the search, Coast Guard watchstanders received additional information from Marvin Brian who stated that the two men usually went to a small cove on the west side of Outer Brass island, where they were later found by the Good Samaritans, friends of the fishermen, who towed the disabled vessel back to Hull Bay, St. Thomas.