Passenger Ferry Collides with Pleasure Craft near U.S. Virgin Islands

3 Rescued, Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Boater

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews continue to search today for a missing boater of capsized pleasure craft that was carrying a total of four passengers. The pleasure craft capsized yesterday after it collided with the Native Son Express passenger ferry, approximately one and a half nautical miles west of Cruz Bay, Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Missing is a 35-year-old male, U.S. citizen with blonde hair, who was wearing a white jersey, a white cap and yellow shorts at the time the vessel capsized.

The Native Son Express recovered, three of the four passengers, from the water, who were traveling aboard the 30-foot pleasure craft, and were taken to the Saint Thomas Hospital to receive medical care. One of the men rescued remained at the hospital, while the other two were released after they refused to receive any additional medical assistance.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. yesterday the Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center JRSC received a report from the motor vessel ORIO, via VHF-Channel 16, that a boat collision had taken place between the Native Son Express and the 30-foot pleasure craft.

A 25-foot response boat rescue crew from Marine Safety Detachment, Saint Thomas, and an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, were immediately dispatched to the scene to search for the missing boater. Coast Guard controllers have issued hourly Urgent Marine Information Broadcast’s to mariners asking them the call the JRSC at 787-289-2041 to notify any possible sightings.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by Marine Safety Detachment personnel in Saint Thomas.

Source: USCG Sector San Juan Public Affairs

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