Coast Guard rescues 2 kayakers off Ocean Park Beach in San Juan

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescued two kayakers Sunday morning, in waters just of Ocean Park Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The two men rescued were reported to be tourists, who used a smart watch to relay a distress call to 911, and reported being in the water for several hours after both kayaks began taking on water and ended up sinking.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to the scene, while a Puerto Rico Joint Forces of Rapid Action helicopter also responded. The two kayakers were initially spotted by the crew of the Police helicopter, who vectored in the Coast Guard aircraft to their location.

The Coast Guard aircrew lowered their rescue swimmer and deployed the aircraft rescue basket that was utilized to hoist and recover both men from the water. The men were transported to the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan, where they were received by Emergency Medical Service personnel, and were released to friends after declining further medical assistance.

“The kayakers are very fortunate to have survived,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Austin Hornbruch, an Air Station Borinquen aviation survival technician. “The survivors were able to use a smart watch to communicate with 911 and Coast Guard watchstanders. After their kayaks sank, they were treading water in unfavorable sea conditions due to not having lifejackets. We commend our Sector San Juan watchstanders and the Puerto Rico Police aircrew, who did an excellent job assisting our crew with the rescue effort.”


Coast Guard advises people to pay close attention to high-surf and small craft advisories that are currently in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A northerly swell continues to move into the local Atlantic waters and passages, associated with a strong low pressure system in the Atlantic. Hazardous marine conditions are expected well into Tuesday for much of our local waters.

There is a Small Craft Advisory in effect though Tuesday for coastal waters of southern U.S. Virgin Islands. Vieques and Eastern Puerto Rico out 10 nautical miles. For Monday, southeast winds 10 to 15 knots, seas 6 to 8 feet with occasional seas up to 10 feet. Northeast swell 4 to 8 feet National Weather Service Marine Forecast for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of 4 a.m. Monday.

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