Coast Guard and CBP combine efforts to rescue boater and tow sailing vessel to safety

San Juan, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard response boat secured the unmanned sailboat, Guaytiao, in waters north of San Juan Harbor and towed it to safety Tuesday afternoon.

The crew of a Customs and Border Protection Marine Interceptor on a Maritime Border Security Patrol rescued the sole boater from the Guaytiao after locating him in distress aboard a partially inflated dinghy, approximately two nautical miles north of San Juan Harbor.

The boater reportedly was forced to abandon his sailboat after it began taking on water from an undetermined source.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a radio call at 1:42 p.m. Tuesday from a crewmember aboard the tug boat Sea Breeze, who relayed hearing a mayday call on VHF-FM Channel 16.

The crew of a Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan 45-foot Response Boat Medium got underway and arrived on scene with the distressed sailing vessel. The response boat crew deployed a P-6 pump to dewater the Guaytiao that was close to capsizing and sinking, and then took the vessel in tow to the Club “Nautico” in San Juan.

“This was an outstanding joint effort between CBP and Coast Guard boat crews,” said Master Chief Petty Officer, Charles Lindsey, Boat Station San Juan Officer In Charge. “The boater effectively called out his distress by using his marine radio and transmitting on VHF-FM Channel 16, allowing CBP and Coast Guard boat crews to quiclkly respond and render assistance.”

VHF-FM marine radios are the preferred method for reporting emergencies from vessels on the water. VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is the international calling and distress channel

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.