Coast Guard suspends search for man near Rincon, Puerto Rico

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard air and surface crews suspended the three-day search for a Texas man Oct. 8, 2021, in Mona Passage waters off Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Still missing is Bruttus Michael Walter, 24, from Dallas, who was last seen in the water struggling as he was being pulled by the currents just off Steps Beach in Rincon. Walter was reported to be a strong swimmer, approximately 170 pounds, brown skin, and wearing grey shorts.

“Despite our best efforts to find him, the fate of this young man remains unknown,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and hope they can find strength during this most difficult time. I’d like to extend my appreciation to all the Coast Guard units and the rescue teams from our local partners in the Puerto Rico Police and Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency for their tireless efforts and support in this case.”

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan initiated search efforts Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:13 p.m. immediately following a call from a 911 Emergency Service operator, who reported two persons in distress being pulled out to sea by the currents just off Steps Beach. One of the persons made it back to shore with the assistance from a bystander, who reported the incident to 911.

During the search, Coast Guard and local rescue units conducted a combined effort of 26 air and surface searches covering 742 square nautical miles, an area approximately one-fifth the size of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search were:

  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Rescue teams and maritime units from the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and Puerto Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action also participated in the search.

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos is a 154-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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