Coast Guard ends search for overdue Mayaguez, Puerto Rico fisherman in the Mona Passage

7th Coast Guard District NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews at Sector San Juan ended their search Thursday evening for an overdue fisherman in waters south of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico and Mona Passage waters southwest, west and northwest of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The overdue fisherman is Jose Luis Mendez Rodriguez, 40, who reportedly departed aboard a 22-foot boat Saturday morning from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on a fishing trip to the Pichinchos fishing grounds, approximately 35 nautical miles northwest of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The fisherman did not return at 5p.m. Saturday, when he was expected to arrive.

Coast Guard watchstanders launched a four-day search after receiving a telephone call Monday afternoon from a Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources representative, who initially reported the incident to the Coast Guard.

The search was extended to waters south of Cabo Rojo following a telephone communication Tuesday from a friend of the fisherman, who reported that Mendez Rodriguez may have been fishing in this area.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the overdue fisherman on the disappearance of their loved one,” said Captain Drew W. Pearson, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander.

Since the search began Monday afternoon, Coast Guard rescue crews conducted multiple air and surface searches in an attempt to find Mendez Rodriguez. Search efforts aboard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla; an HC-130 aircraft and HC-144 from Air Station Clearwater, Fla.; an Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami, an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas; the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing and the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk covered approximately 6,500 square nautical miles within the search area, an area approximately twice the size of Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cushing is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Key West, Fla.

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