Coast Guard rescues 4 people just off Playa Escondida

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter

MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter and Puerto Rico Police rescued four persons swept by the currents Saturday at Playa Escondida in Fajardo, Puerto, Rico.

One other person in this case was found deceased after his body washed ashore on a nearby beach Sunday morning.

Deceased is a man, 44, from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, after he reportedly went into the water with three other people, two men and a 14-year-old boy, to help a woman in distress who was swept by the currents and struggling to stay afloat.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the family and loved ones of this Good Samaritan who regrettably passed while trying to save another person,” said Lt. Erin Nolan, Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk aircraft commander for the case. “It is vital for everyone to be familiar with water conditions anytime you are out enjoying all that Puerto Rico’s beaches have to offer. Water conditions can change rapidly and become challenging for even for the strongest of swimmers. Having good situational awareness and notifying authorities at the first sign of trouble could save yours or someone else’s life. Fortunately thanks to the efforts of fellow Coastguardsmen, partners and a Good Samaritan on a personal watercraft, four lives were saved in this case.”

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication from a 911 Emergency operator at 4:25 p.m. Saturday reporting multiple people in distress in the water at Playa Escondida. A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk immediately launched to provide rescue assistance, as Puerto Rico Police went out on a long board to assist the persons in distress. Throughout the response, watchstanders maintained communications with Puerto Rico Emergency Management personnel who provided continuous updates on the situation.

Once on scene, the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter located one individual struggling in the surf and three other persons in distress holding on to a longboard. The Coast Guard crew deployed their rescue swimmer who used the rescue sling to hoist the woman from the surf zone and then recovered two men from the longboard safely aboard using the rescue basket. The operator of a Good Samaritan personal watercraft recovered and transported the 14-year old boy to Las Croabas in Fajardo. The Coast Guard aircrew transported the three survivors to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci airport in San Juan, where Emergency Medical Service personnel rendered assistance.

Following the rescue, Coast Guard MH-60 helicopters from Air Station Borinquen searched throughout the night for the man who remained missing until authorities recovered his body ashore.

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