Coast Guard locates 2 overdue fishermen off Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter located two overdue fishermen at approximately 5:30p.m. Saturday, approxiimately 1.5 nautical miles from the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic shoreline.

Rescued are Jonathan Mendez Otero, 22, and Luis Millan Reyes, 22, residents of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, who were located by the crew of an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and rescued by the crew of the Good Samaritan vessel Sea Wish that was transiting in the vicinity and responded to the scene upon sighting the Coast Guard helicopter.

The crew of the Sea Wish was able to confirm to the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter the identities of Mendez Otero and Millan Reyes and notify that they would be transporting the survivors to Cap Cana Marina in Punta Cana, Dominican, Republic.

Coast Guard controllers in Sector San Juan received a call earlier in the day from a Puerto Rico State Emergency Management Agency represative who relayed information from a Dominican Republic Emergency operator, who in turn, reported a call recieved from the missing fishermen indicating they were disabled and adrift aboard their fishing boat in the vicinity of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard controllers in the Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center were initially contacted Thursday afternoon by a friend of the missing men, who reported that Mendez Otero and Millan Reyes were overdue after they had departed from Tamarindo Beach, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico aboard a 18-foot yellow and black fishing yola, and were expected to return at approximately 3 a.m. Thursday, but they never arrived.

Coast Guard rescue crews searched since Thursday for the overdue fishermen with HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla and an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Air Station Miami. Coast Guard rescue crews conducted eight searches spanning over 1,830 nautical square miles over waters west northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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