Coast Guard Rescues 3 More Fishermen, are Searching for 20 Others

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Cutter Forward’s crew rescued three more fishermen yesterday afternoon, and are still searching today for 20 others who are still missing after their fishing vessel capsized Tuesday, approximately 20 nautical miles north of Monti Cristi, Dominican Republic.

So far, 19 fishermen have been rescued by Coast Guard rescue crews, Dominican Republic navy authorities and the crewmembers of a Good Samaritan vessel. Coast Guard and Dominican Republic rescue crews continue to aggressively search for survivors today.

Coast Guard Cutter Forward transferred 13 survivors to the Dominican Republic Navy vessel Bellatrix yesterday afternoon for further transport to the Dominican Republic, and also transferred to the Bellatrix today three fishermen who were rescued from the water at approximately 4:30 p.m. yesterday.

The incident was initially reported to the Dominican Republic navy after crewmembers of a Good Samaritan vessel rescued two fishermen from the water Tuesday.

Coast Guard Rescue Sub-Center, San Juan, received a request for assistance from Dominican Republic navy authorities Tuesday afternoon to assist with the search efforts to find survivors from the capsized fishing vessel.

Since the search began Tuesday, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Forward has rescued 16 fishermen from the water, the rescue crew of an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter has rescued one fisherman, and the crewmembers of a Good Samaritan vessel initially rescued two survivors from the water Tuesday.

According to survivors, the 39 passengers aboard the fishing vessel initiated their trip at approximately 5 p.m. Monday from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to Silver Bank, located 60 nautical miles north of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, when their fishing vessel capsized at approximately 1 a.m. yesterday.

Coast Guard rescue crews completed searching a total of 21 search areas yesterday covering over 3,000 nautical square miles, and continue to aggressively search for survivors.
“The 19 survivors rescued so far are very fortunate to be alive after being in the water for so long without any lifejackets or personal flotation devices, said Cmdr. Ricardo Rodriguez, commander, Sector San Juan Response.

Coast Guard Cutter Forward is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.

Coast Guard Cutter Resolute is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Saint Petersburg, Fla.

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