Coast Guard, partners searching for 3 missing migrants near Rincon, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard and partner agencies are searching Wednesday for three missing migrants near Rincon, Puerto Rico.

The three Dominican men were last seen at 7 a.m. wearing white disposable protective coveralls aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon.

The cutter was transiting less than two miles from shore with 22 interdicted migrants aboard. The missing migrants were not wearing life jackets.

At 7:25 a.m. Richard Dixon crew members noticed the three migrants missing. The crew contacted Coast Guard Sector San Juan and initiated a search.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen was launched and is on scene searching.

On Monday, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos interdicted 27 migrants, including the missing men, aboard a disabled boat in the Mona Pass.

The Joseph Tezanos crew transferred the 27 migrants to the Richard Dixon. Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

On Tuesday, five migrants were transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Puerto Rico to face potential federal criminal immigration charges for attempted illegal reentry into the U.S.

Partner agencies are aiding in the search on land and at sea including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Puerto Rico Police Joint Rapid Action Forces (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), Rincon Municipal Police, and Puerto Rico State Police.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, was also launched to assist in the search.

“We are working diligently alongside our partners to locate the missing men,” said Capt. Eric King, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “We urge the public, especially boaters and beach-goers, to keep a sharp lookout and contact Coast Guard Sector San Juan with any information regarding the missing men.”

The public can contact Sector San Juan with any pertinent information at 787-289-2041.

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