Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater off Loiza, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard suspended the search at sunset Sunday for a missing 20-year-old boater off the north and northeastern coast of Puerto Rico.

Still missing is Jan Carlos Olivos Castro, 20, who along with three other men was reportedly aboard a 16-foot boat that reportedly sank Thursday off the coast of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

“Making the determination to suspend a search is always a difficult one, and one that is not made lightly,” said Capt. Eric P. King, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “We have been in constant contact with the family and loved ones of this young man, and our deepest sympathy go out to them during this most difficult time.”

The three other men in this case survived, after two of them reportedly swam and reached the shore of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico Thursday, while Coast Guard crews involved in the search rescued the third man Friday afternoon in waters off the coast of Loiza, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a phone call at 5p.m. Wednesday from Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid personnel in Fajardo, who relayed a report from a person who notified that his friend was aboard a boat taking on water near Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Since the search began Wednesday, Coast Guard rescue crews searching aboard rotary and fixed wing aircraft, small boats and cutters conducted 24 air and surface searches. Coast Guard rescue crews covered 4,065 square nautical miles within the established search area that included waters between Culebra Island and the northern and northeastern coasts of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard rescue crews involved in the search:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.
  • C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen
  • 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement from Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas
  • 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan

Anyone who may have information on this case or the potential whereabouts of the missing boater is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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