Coast Guard Searching for 31 People Near Aquadilla Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard and Forces United Rapid Action (FURA) crews are searching for 31 people, after reporting their vessel was taking on water Wednesday, in the Aguadilla area.

Search and rescue coordinators from the Sector San Juan Command Center, through a 911 emergency dispatcher, received a call from a person on board the distressed vessel stating their vessel taking on water. During the call, the passenger also stated the vessel was approximately 20 to 30 foot in length, had 31 people on board and departed from Samana Bay, Dominican Republic and were en route to Puerto Rico.

With no additional information from the passenger aboard, watch coordinators traced the call to an area between two cell phone towers in Aguadilla Bay and launched a search of the area.

Since the search began Wednesday, aircrews from an Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami, the Cutter Sapelo and the Cutter Dauntless have been searching for the vessel and its passengers.

“We have conducted searches, for the vessel and its 31 passengers, in the Aguadilla area and north for 100 miles,” said Jamie Balzack, a Sector San Jaun search and rescue coordinator. “If anyone has information that can help with the search or if they know a passenger is safe on land, please contact the Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2040.

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