Coast Guard rescues missing hunter on Mona Island, Puerto Rico

The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen rescued a missing hunter on Mona Island, Puerto Rico July 13, 2018. The 60-year-old man (center of photo) was hoisted aboard the aircraft and transported to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Park Ranger Station on Mona Island, where he was reunited with his hunting party. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen rescued a missing hunter on Mona Island, Puerto Rico July 13, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescued a missing hunter on the natural reserve of Mona Island, Puerto Rico Friday morning.

Rescued is Walter Cardona, 60, a resident of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, after he was reported missing by fellow hunters to Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Park Rangers Thursday night, who notified Cardona had been separated from the group.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan were contacted at 10:55 p.m. Thursday by DNER Park Rangers, who reported the incident and requested Coast Guard assistance in locating the missing hunter.

Coast Guard watchstanders proceeded to launch a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen at first light to conduct an overflight search of Mona Island. Within 20 minutes of commencing their search, the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter spotted the missing hunter laying on the ground and waving his arms on the North West corner of the island, approximately four miles from the DNER Park Ranger Station. The missing hunter was spotted in a small clearing, about one and a half miles away from the main trail. The Coast Guard aircrew proceeded to lower a radio and establish communications with the hunter, who reported being disoriented but otherwise in good health. The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter proceeded to deploy their rescue basket and hoist the hunter onboard the aircraft.

The Coast Guard aircrew transported to Cardona to the DNER Park Ranger Station on Mona Island, where he was reunited with his hunting party.

Mona Island is a 5,000 hectare natural reserve located in the Mona Passage, approximately 41 miles off the west coast of Puerto Rico. The island has no permanent settlements and is under the administration of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

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