Coast Guard suspends search for Velopoula tank ship mariner

Coast Guard Cutter Farallon

USCG Cutter Farallon - file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard suspended it’s active search Monday evening for the motor vessel Velopoula tank ship mariner who reportedly fell overboard 135 miles north of Samana, Dominican Republic, Saturday.

“The decision to suspend a search is very difficult when someone is still missing at sea,” said Capt. Ed Pino, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing mariner during this difficult time.”

Coast Guard rescue crews launched an aerial and surface search Saturday for the 24-year-old Greek mariner after Coast Guard Watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a satellite communication from the master of the 748-foot Velopoula reporting the incident.

The mariner reportedly was last seen at 12 p.m. Saturday and was noticed missing four hours later.

Units involved with the search included:
Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crews
Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., HC-130 Hercules aircraft crews
The crew of the Coast Guard Ccutter Farallon

Coast Guard searches totaled more than 3,600 square-miles, or roughly the size of the island of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Cutter Farallon is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan.

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