Coast Guard crews rescue 1 of 2 missing overdue boaters off Loiza, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez File Photo

Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez File Photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez rescued one of two missing overdue boaters Friday afternoon, approximately half a mile off the north coast of Loiza, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard crews continue to search for Jan Carlos Olivos Castro, 20, the remaining boater of four others, who reportedly were onboard 16-foot boat that reportedly sank Thursday off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Rescued is Erik Joel Lugo Sherrills, 18, shortly after the crew of a HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., located him in the water wearing a lifejacket and utilized smoke to mark his position. The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew also involved in the search spotted the smoke signal and vectored-in the Heriberto Hernandez to the boater’s position for the rescue.

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

Two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen initially responded to search for the distressed vessel.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan were able to contact a surviving boater Friday morning, who communicated that he was able to swim to shore with one other boater Thursday, after their vessel started sinking, approximately six miles off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico forcing all four people onboard into the water. He also reported that the two other boaters were wearing lifejackets.

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 boater is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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