Coast Guard Rescues Scuba Diver, Searching for 2nd Diver

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police rescue crews are searching for a scuba diver who went missing while on a recreational diving trip Saturday in waters near Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.

Alfonso Santana, 36, a resident of San Juan is still missing since separating from his dive partner after surfacing in waters on the northwestern tip of Desecheo Island Saturday. Santana was reportedly wearing a black rash guard, air tanks and a buoyancy compensator at the time he was last seen by his dive partner.

Santana’s dive partner was rescued yesterday by the crew of the motor vessel Orca Too, after he was located by the crew of an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter safely on the rocks off the northwestern coast of Desecheo Island. The Orca Too was vectored in by the crew of the Dolphin helicopter and the vessel’s crew rescued Santana’s dive partner from the rocks at approximately 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Since Saturday, Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action F.U.R.A. rescue crews have been aggressively searching for Santana with two HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Air Station Miami, Fla., and F.U.R.A. Cobra marine units. A Puerto Rico Air National Guard C-130E, the crew of the Orca Too and Good Samaritan Vessels also assisted with the search. So far, Coast Guard surface and air rescue crews have conducted 11 searches to find the missing diver spanning over 705 nautical square miles.

Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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