Coast Guard rescues 2 fishermen and two jet skiers

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin aircrew in a group photo with two men from the British Virgin Islands Nov. 9, 2020, after they rescued the men earlier in the morning from a capsized vessel, approximately five nautical miles southeast of Norman Island, British Virgin Islands. The rescue was done in collaboration with Virgin Islands Search and Rescue personnel and the operator of a private helicopter. (Courtesy photo)

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin aircrew in a group photo with two men Nov. 9, 2020, after they rescued the men earlier in the morning from a capsized vessel, approximately five nautical miles southeast of Norman Island, British Virgin Islands. (Courtesy photo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard aircrews rescued two men Monday morning from a capsized boat in the British Virgin Islands, and they also rescued a man and a woman from a disabled jet ski Sunday night near Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

In two other separate search and rescue cases during the weekend in Puerto Rico, two swimmers were recovered deceased just off the beach in the Condado area of San Juan, while a 19-year-old male was also recovered deceased just off Vacia Talega Beach near Pinones, Loiza.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the three persons who were lost to the sea this weekend in Puerto Rico,” said Capt. Gregory Magee, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “I commend the courage of the Good Samaritans who tried to save them, and in one of the cases a Good Samaritan was able to save the life of a 17-year-old girl. I’m equally proud of the close collaboration, coordination and effective response between local partner agencies in Puerto Rico, in the U.S. and in the British Virgin Islands, which saved four other lives in this complex search and rescue environment of the Eastern Caribbean.”

During Monday’s rescue, Coast Guard watchstanders in San Juan, Puerto Rico received notification from a 911 emergency operator in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands at 2:22 a.m. Monday of an overturned 33-foot boat with two people onboard. With the assistance of the 911 operator, watchstanders were able to establish cellular phone communication with the two men, who relayed they had departed from Virgin Gorda Sunday morning and that they were sitting on top of their overturned vessel since 5p.m. Sunday after the vessel capsized.

Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft from Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas to search, while Virgin Islands Search and Rescue crews also responded with the assistance of a private helicopter. Shortly thereafter, the private helicopter and the Coast Guard Ocean Sentry aircrews located the distressed boaters.

The Coast Guard helicopter, with the assistance of the Coast Guard Ocean Sentry aircrew, arrived on scene with the overturned vessel, and the crew hoisted the two men safely aboard the aircraft. The Coast Guard aircrew transported to the men to the Cyril E. King Airport in St Thomas, where awaiting Customs and Border Protection officers received them.

During Sunday evening’s rescue, Coast Guard watchstanders in San Juan received a call from local 911 Emergency Service operator, who reported a disabled jet ski with two people about a mile offshore near the kiosks area in Luquillo. Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter that arrived on scene and hoisted the two jet skiers to safety; a 20-year-old male and a 24-year-old female. The Coast Guard helicopter transported the jet skiers to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, where Emergency Medical Service personnel assessed their condition before releasing them to family members.

In a second search and rescue case Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard watchstanders in San Juan received a 911 communication of two people in the water off a beach in the Condado area of San Juan. A 33-foot Special Purpose Craft from Boat Station San Juan responded to the scene. Shortly thereafter, watchstanders received communication that a Good Samaritan using a surfboard recovered the two persons, deceased.

During a search and rescue case Saturday afternoon, Coast Guard watchstanders received a call at 1:39 p.m. Saturday from a man on the beach near Vacia Talega in Piñones, who reported seeing two other persons in the water struggling with the currents. Coast Guard watchstanders received a second communication the reporting source at 1;48 p.m., who relayed he went into the water with his body board and was able to rescue a 17-year-old female, and that he saw the other person go under water before he was able to reach him.

Coast Guard aircrews aboard an Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami searched alongside Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Puerto Rico Police air and surface crews Saturday and Sunday morning to find the missing person. At approximately 2:45 p.m. Sunday, the crew of Puerto Rico Emergency Management personnel and a Police marine unit located and recovered the body of the 19-year-old male.

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