Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Scuba Diver

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police and Puerto Rico Emergency Agency rescue crews continue to aggressively search for a scuba diver who went missing while on a recreational diving trip Saturday in waters near Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.

Alfonso Santana Rivera, 36, a resident of Hato Rey is still missing since separating from his dive partner after surfacing in waters on the northwestern tip of Desecheo Island Saturday. Santana was reportedly wearing a black rash guard, air tanks and a buoyancy compensator at the time he was last seen by his dive partner.

So far, Coast Guard surface and air rescue crews have conducted 22 searches to find Santana spanning over 3,058 nautical square miles.

Santana’s dive partner was rescued Saturday by the crew of the motor vessel Orca Too, after he was located by the crew of an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter safely on the rocks off the northwestern coast of Desecheo Island. The Orca Too was vectored in by the crew of the Dolphin helicopter and the vessel’s crew rescued Santana’s dive partner from the rocks at approximately 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Since Saturday, Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action F.U.R.A. and Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency rescue crews have been aggressively searching for Santana with HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Coast Guard Cutter’s Matinicus and Sapelo, an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Air Station Miami, Fla., an HC-130 from Air Station Clearwater, Fla. and F.U.R.A. Cobra marine units and divers. A Puerto Rico Air National Guard C-130E aircrew, the crew of the Orca Too and Good Samaritan Vessels also assisted with the search.

Coast Guard Cutter’s Matinicus and Sapelo are 110-foot patrol boats homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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