Search Continues for Missing Dominican Fisherman

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue crews continue their search today for a missing Dominican fisherman originally reported missing Monday, while on fishing trip in the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard rescue crews continue to aggresively search for Valentín Gómez, a native fisherman from the Dominican Republic. Gómez was reported being overdue Sunday after he went on a fishing trip Saturday in the vicinity of La Caleta, southwest of the Las Américas Airport.

Since Monday, the Coast Guard has launched an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Clearwater, Fla., an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Air Station Miami, Fla., and HH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, to search the area for the missing fisherman.

The U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Sub-Center, San Juan, received a request for assistance from Dominican Republic Navy authorities at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday to assist with the search efforts to find Gómez.

Since the search began Monday, the Coast Guard has flown approximately 16 hours and covered an area of approximately 4,943 square nautical miles.

Dominican Republic Navy authorities have also been searching for Gómez by flying a fixed-wing aircraft over the search area, conducting shoreline patrols with land units and visiting local marinas and posible locations where Gomez’s yola may have reached shore.

“We continue to aggressively search for Valentín Gómez,” said Capt. James E. Tunstall, Sector San Juan Commander. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during these difficult times.”

Valentín Gómez was traveling aboard a 17-foot pink yola. The fisherman was reported having paddles and no personal flotation devices, flares or navigational equipment onboard.

Source: USCG Sector San Juan Public Affairs

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