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Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources crews rescue 3 boaters near “Caja de Muertos” Island, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources crews rescue 3 boaters near “Caja de Muertos” Island, Puerto Rico

A Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources ranger, center of photo, assists the passengers of the 23-foot disabled recreational vessel Serenity July 12, 2020 near “Caja de Muertos” Island, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders and the DPNER marine unit coordinated the response that led to the rescue of all three passengers and the Serenity being safely towed into Salinas, Puerto Rico.
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard rescue watchstanders at Sector San Juan and the crew of a Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DPNER) marine unit rescued three boaters aboard a disabled recreational vessel Sunday near “Caja de Muertos” Island off Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a mayday VHF Channel 16 marine radio transmission from the Captain of the 23-foot recreational vessel Serenity at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday, stating the vessel was disabled with three people aboard near “Caja de Muertos” Island. 

The crew of a Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources marine unit, who happened to also hear the mayday call, contacted Coast Guard watchstanders to let them know they were responding.  Shortly thereafter, the DPNER marine unit arrived on scene with the disabled vessel and the crew identified that one of the passengers was suffering from acute sea sickness.  They quickly embarked the ill passenger and transported him to Salinas, where he was received and assisted by awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel.  The DPNER crew immediately returned to the location of the Serenity and towed the disabled vessel into Salinas, bringing the other two passengers to safety.

“This case is yet another example of seamless inter-agency coordination between local state and federal responders in Puerto Rico,” said John Ware, Coast Guard search and rescue mission coordinator for the case.  “The fact that the Captain of the disabled vessel utilized a marine radio to make a distress call to the Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16, allowed for our Coast Guard watchstanders to maintain constant communications with the Serenity and deliver precise information to the DRNA Rangers, whose quick actions and swift response resulted in three lives being saved.”

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-USCG-

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