SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement rescue 2 watercraft riders Friday night, approximately one and a half miles off Isla Verde Beach in the municipality of Carolina, Puerto Rico.
The rescued man and woman reportedly were forced to abandon their personal watercraft after it started to sink.
Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received at 7 p.m. Friday multiple calls from 911 and bystanders at the beach, who reported the sighting of three parachute flares one to two miles from shore. Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-65D Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and a 33-foot SPC-LE boat crew from Boat Station San Juan to search for signs of a distress, they also alerted the Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine station in Carolina. Watchstanders also issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters in the area to be on the lookout for a potential distress.
The Coast Guard boat crew arrived to the area of the distress. Once on scene, watchstanders patched-in a Good Samaritan bystander, who was able to communicate directly with the boat crew and vector them in closer to the location of the flare sighting. Shortly thereafter, one of the boat crewmembers heard a whistle off the back deck, that led the Coast Guard crew to locating and safely recovering both watercraft riders from the water.
The Coast Guard crews assisted the rescued man and woman, who were transported to Boat Station San Juan, where they were received by friends and family.
“This was a great rescue, the debrief with survivors provided us valuable information confirming there were no other watercraft or persons in distress,” said Ensign John Truncale, Sector San Juan Rescue Center command duty officer. “The cooperation of Good Samaritan bystanders and that these boaters were wearing lifejackets and were equipped with flares and a whistle led to a successful outcome in this case. I’m proud of the collective effort and coordination between watchstanders and our Station San Juan boat crew in finding and bringing these persons to safety.”
Following the rescue, watchstanders issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters and marine traffic of the adrift watercraft as a hazard to navigation.