Coast Guard suspends search for boater near Culebra, Puerto Rico

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos file photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard air and surface units suspended a four-day search at 7:03 p.m. Friday, pending further developments, for a boater who went missing Tuesday night following a vessel capsizing near Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Missing is Roy Moreno Negrón, 30, who was last heard during a call with Coast Guard Sector San Juan watch standers while reporting a distress in which his 17-foot Aquasport vessel was taking on water. Moreno reported having a life jacket.

“My heart is with the family and loved ones of Roy Moreno Negrón hoping they find strength and closure during this most difficult time,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, Sector San Juan commander. “Suspending an active search is one of the most difficult decisions for a Sector Commander to make. Our search and rescue mission coordinators, air and surface units, and partner agency responders do their utmost to save lives, unfortunately, we are suspending the search after four days of searching and having no signs of Roy.”

Moreno Negrón reportedly drove from San Juan to Fajardo, Puerto Rico to get underway and vacation in Culebra, Puerto Rico. He was described as 6-foot and two inches tall, weighs 230 pounds, wearing a bright floral shirt with shorts, and being an excellent swimmer.

Coast Guard watch standers in Sector San Juan received a 911 call at 7:09 p.m. Tuesday relaying a call from Moreno Negrón, who informed the vessel’s position to be approximately 4.5 nautical miles west of Culebra Island. Watch standers directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter and dispatched a Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement vessel to search, while a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit also arrived on scene.

Rescue units located and recovered Moreno Negrón’s vessel capsized Wednesday morning, approximately 11 nautical miles west of Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard assets completed 18 air and 14 surface searches covering 2,162 square nautical miles, an area more than half the size of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action and Puerto Rico State Emergency Management Bureau units and responders actively assisted throughout the search.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search:

Station San Juan 33-foot Special Purpose Craft and 45-foot Response Boat-Medium
MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Borinquen
Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos
HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Miami
Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watch standers​

Anyone with information related to this case may contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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