Coast Guard ends search for missing fisherman in Puerto Rico after he is located deceased

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews ended their search Thursday for a missing fisherman of a capsized boat in the southern coast of Puerto Rico, after local emergency management authorities located the man deceased at Ballenas Beach in Guanica.

The 78 year-old man, a resident of Peñuelas, had gone out Wednesday night with a fishing partner who survived the capsizing, which occurred approximately one and a half nautical miles offshore between the Bays of Guanica and Guayanilla, Puerto Rico.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of this fisherman on the loss of their loved one,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “When going out to sea being well prepared and wearing you lifejacket can help save your life or the life of a loved one.”

Jimmy Gonzaléz Colón, 58, also a resident of Peñuelas, survived the ordeal after he reportedly swam for hours during the night and reached Tamarindo Beach in Guanica. Gonzalez Colón reportedly was assisted by a friend, who went out on a boat at day break Thursday to search for the fishermen, and in the process, located González Colón and safely recovered him from the beach.

Coast Guard Watchstanders in Sector San Juan received initial notification of the incident at 7:30a.m. Thursday through a phone call from one of the fishermen’s family members, who reported the fishermen had gone out Wednesday night from Boquete Beach in Peñuelas aboard an 18-foot recreational vessel and had not returned when expected.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search were an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen and a Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo. Also, Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine units and Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency personnel assisted with the search efforts.

The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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