Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police combine efforts to rescue 2 overdue fishermen

7th Coast Guard District News

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) rescue crews combined efforts to rescue two overdue fishermen Tuesday night, approximately 15 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

“This was a successful response for the Coast Guard and FURA due to the fact that the boaters had emergency flares onboard the vessel and used them properly,” said Lt. Fausto Veras, Sector San Juan command duty officer”.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan were initially contacted at 9 p.m. Wednesday by the father of one of the fishermen, who reported the fishermen had departed Aguadilla at approximately 4a.m. Tuesday and did not return when expected.

Coast Guard watchstanders launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew out of Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla, and they coordinated with a FURA maritime crew to search for the fishermen.

The crews of the responding Coast Guard helicopter and the FURA marine unit were able to observe and respond to two red emergency flares that were fired into the air by the fishermen.

The Puerto Rico Police marine unit and the Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene with the fishermen, who were safely aboard the disabled and adrift fishing vessel Blanca.

The crew of the FURA marine unit proceeded to take the fishing vessel in tow to Black Eagle Marina in Rincon, where the fishermen were released.

Boating Safety Tips:

  • Boaters are reminded to equip their vessels with safety equipment, be mindful of state boating laws, and be courteous to fellow boaters while operating on the water.
  • There should be a personal flotation device on the vessel for each person, sized accordingly.
  • Boaters should have flares and are encouraged to have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) with 406 MHz capabilities to enable a faster response by the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.
  • Boaters should have an operational marine VHF radio on their boat in order to contact the Coast Guard on channel 16, in the event an emergency. The Coast Guard reminds radio operators that VHF channel 16 is an emergency channel and that improper transmission on channel 16 not only hampers Coast Guard response, but is punishable under federal law.
  • The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters file a float plan with a friend or family member on land, with an approximate time of return and location to which you will be heading.  It is also recommended that you regularly check in with those who are aware of your plan, especially if your plan should change.
  • Mariners should check current and forecasted weather conditions prior to getting underway, and remain aware of changing conditions once on the water.  The National Weather Service broadcasts weather conditions throughout the day on VHF channel WX2.  The Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A. Current weather information and advisories can be found on the National Weather Service website.
  • It is against the law for anyone to operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol by anyone else aboard is also strongly discouraged.

Prior to taking to the water, boaters are encouraged to go to for more complete information on safe boating.  The Coast Guard also highly recommends boaters get a free vessel-safety inspection from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  More information on these inspections can be found at  A few minutes now could save a life later.


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