Coast Guard rescues 8 boaters in the water near Mona Island, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue crews rescued eight male boaters in the water Friday afternoon, who were forced to abandon their vessel after it began to take on water and started sinking in the vicinity of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

All eight passengers aboard the Good Samaritan vessel were wearing their life jackets when they abandoned the vessel.

Two of the eight passengers aboard the sinking vessel initially were reported to be disabled and adrift aboard their recreational vessel Jessica. A Good Samaritan Vessel carrying six passengers onboard arrived on scene with the Jessica, embarked the two distressed boaters and started to tow their vessel. Shortly thereafter the Good Samaritan vessel took on a large amount of water and began to sink forcing the passengers to abandon the vessel and go into the water.

The incident was initially reported to the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center at 4:47 p.m. Friday by Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources personnel who advised them of the incident.

Coast Guard controllers immediately launched two HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to the scene. Both helicopter crews arrived on scene and hoisted all eight passengers onboard and transferred them to Mona Island safely. The Key Largo arrived to Mona Island and transferred the survivors aboard the cutter to administer care. The crew of the Key Largo proceeded to transport the original six passengers from the Good Samaritan vessel to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they were released. The two passengers from the Jessica remained overnight at Mona Island to repair their vessel with the help of a family member who also responded to provide assistance in another vessel. The boaters were able to repair the Jessica’s engine Saturday morning, and they departed for Cabo Rojo escorted by the assisting vessel.

Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan.

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