Coast Guard ends search for missing fisherman off Guanica, Puerto Rico

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews ended the search Tuesday night for a missing fisherman in waters three nautical miles south of Guanica, Puerto Rico.

Still missing is Marcos Mattei Garcia, a 45 year-old man and resident of Guanica, who reportedly was last seen fishing at 3 p.m. Sunday, aboard a 22-foot center console Robalo fishing boat, and he did not return to the Guanica boat ramp at 6 p.m. when he was expected.

“We are sadden that our search efforts concluded without finding Mr. Mattei Garcia, and we pray for his family and loved ones with the hope they find peace, strength and closure during this most difficult time.” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Coast Guard Sector San Juan chief of response. “I commend the effort and dedication of all Coast Guard and local agency responders for giving their all in this search as they do day in and day out to assist people and mariners in distress.”

Watchstanders at Sector San Juan were initially contacted by a friend of the overdue fisherman at 8p.m. Sunday, who reported Mattei Garcia was last seen at 3 p.m. Sunday. His vehicle and boat trailer were found parked at the Guanica boat ramp.

During a first light search Monday, the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter located the fisherman’s vessel on the rocks near El Palo Cay in Lajas, Puerto Rico. The vessel was flooded with water, and had fishing gear and lifejackets inside.

Coast Guard rescue crews conducted 29 air and surface searches covering over 2,712 square nautical miles, more than half the size of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Puerto Rico Police rescue crews also responded to this case.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search:

  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
  • HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley (WPC-1117)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos (WPC-1118)
  • Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium

Anyone with any information on this case should contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

Cutters Donald Horsley and Joseph Tezanos are 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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