Coast Guard rescues two fishermen in distress off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico − A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen hoisted two fishermen to safety Monday morning from their distressed fishing vessel just off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Rescued are 25-year-old Luis Efraín Negrón and 75-year-old Victor Rodríguez Rosado.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan were contacted by a 911 emergency operator, who relayed a telephone call from one of the fishermen reporting the developing emergency situation.

The two fishermen reported being anchored in the vicinity of Las Picuas, approximately two nautical miles off the coast of Rio Grande, taking on five to six-foot waves breaking on their 16-foot fishing vessel. The fishermen were unable to come in from their position due to rapidly deteriorating weather conditions and higher seven to eight foot waves closer to shore.

Coast Guard Watchstanders proceeded to launch an Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to locate and rescue the fishermen.

“With timely and effective coordination between Sector San Juan and Air Station Watchstanders, the crew was able to immediately locate the distressed vessel despite low visibility, heavy rain squalls, and deteriorating weather,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mary Martin, Coast Guard Air Station Boriquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircraft commander. “The crew assessed the scene without delay and safely hoisted both individuals from the water.”

The fishermen were transported to the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they were received by Emergency Medical Service personnel and awaiting family members.

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