Coast Guard, partner agencies searching for 4 overdue boaters near Fajardo

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos file photo

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico. — The Coast Guard along with Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) are searching for four overdue boaters Saturday aboard a 22-foot vessel near Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a notification from an emergency services telephone call reporting a 22-foot white Proline vessel Wepa with four people aboard did not return to Villa Fajardo Marina as expected.

“The Coast Guard urges people to be prepared when taking to the sea, especially for longer voyages and always wear a life jacket. A VHF-radio, extra food and water, life jackets and flares are just a few of the things that can keep you prepared while you’re out on the water,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan command center chief of response. “Filing a float plan is also key before you head out. It’s as easy as telling family and friends where you’re going to, coming from and for how long so they have all the important information if they need to make the call for help.”

Commercial Salvage reported receiving a phone call from the vessel’s operator requesting for assistance due to an engine failure near Icacos Island. The salvage operator reported no sight of the vessel after arriving to the scene 30 minutes after the phone call.

Overdue are: Hector Mendez, 60, Hector Mendez Jr., 30, Javier Mendez 52, Victor Gohia 59

Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Station San Juan
  • Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos (WPC-1118)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133)
  • Joint Forces of Rapid Action Cobra Unit 63
  • Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency surface assets.

Anyone with information that can assist in the search is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watchstanders at (787) 289-204.

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