Search Continues for Capsized Vessels Passengers

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews continue to search Thursday for 11 of 17 migrants who fell into Mona Passage waters after their yola capsized in waters northeast of Cabo Engaño, Dominican Republic Monday.

Three men and one woman were rescued Wednesday and two others were found deceased.

Since the search began Wednesday Coast Guard aircraft and Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo have conducted 14 searches spanning out approximately 1,948 square nautical miles within the searh area. An Air Station Miami HU-25 Falcon Jet and an Air Station Clearwater, Fla. HC-130 Hercules aircraft have joined the search efforts to find survivors.

The crew of an Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico HH-65 Dolphin helicopter located a survivor at approximately 1:51 p.m. Wednesday. The helicopter crew transported and transferred the survivor to Emergency Medical Services personnel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at approximately 2:20 p.m. Wednesday. The crew of another Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter also found two bodies that were recovered from the water by the crew of Dominican Republic navy vessel La Primavera.

The incident was initially reported to the Dominican Republic navy authorities after crewmembers of La Chalupa, a Good Samaritan 28-foot Sportsfisher charter boat, rescued two men and one woman from the water Wednesday morning. The migrants were staying afloat by holding onto five-gallon water jugs, approximately seven nautical miles north northeast of Cabo Engaño, Dominican Republic when they were rescued.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received a request for assistance from Dominican Republic navy authorities Wednesday morning to assist with the search efforts to find survivors from the capsized yola. Dominican Republic navy authorities are on scene searching and working in close coordination with Coast Guard rescue crews.

Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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