Coast Guard crews are searching for 2 overdue boaters off Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews continue to search for the third day Friday for two of four overdue male boaters in waters north of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Two persons in this case are reported to be safely ashore, while two others, Juan Carlos Olivos Castro, 20, and Erik Joel Lugo Sherrills,18, from Puerto Rico remain missing.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan were able to contact a surviving boater Friday morning, who communicated that he and one other person were able to swim to shore Thursday, after their vessel partially sank, approximately six miles off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico forcing all four of them into the water. The survivor also reported that the two men who remain missing were wearing lifejackets.

Coast Guard watchstanders were initially contacted at 5p.m. Wednesday by Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action personnel in Fajardo, who relayed a report from a person who notified them that his friend was aboard a 16-foot boat taking on water in the vicinity of Cayo Botella near Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders proceeded to launch two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen to search for the distressed vessel.

Since the search began Wednesday, Coast Guard rescue crews searching aboard rotary and fixed wing aircraft, small boats and cutters have found no signs of a distress or additional survivors.

Anyone who may have information on this case or the potential whereabouts of the missing boaters is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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