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Coast Guard rescue ‘good Samaritan’ boater

Puerto Rico rescue

US Coast Guards had to rescue a ‘good Samaritan’ boater after his vessel sank while trying to save another boat in distress.

Two red flares were fired to alert rescuers to a disabled vessel near Point Picua, in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, one night in late November 2018.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew rescued the ‘good Samaritan’ boater from the water after his vessel ran aground, capsized and sank while helping a disabled vessel.

Lt. Cmdr. Jim Cepa, Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin aircraft commander, says, "Having the right equipment accessible helped this case have a positive outcome.

"The gentlemen was wearing his life jacket, which greatly enhanced his survivability and likelihood of detection from our search assets. Our crew was fortunate to be able to help this gentlemen return to safety."

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from a 911 emergency operator after a member of the public spotted the flares. The helicopter and a Boat Station San Juan 45-foot Response Boat Medium responded.

The Coast Guard crews arrived and reported that the original vessel was just arriving to shore, but there was another capsized boat and a person in the water.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew conducted a shoreline search and located a man in the water waving his hands for assistance. Their rescue swimmer used the aircraft’s hoist line to reach and secure the survivor to his rescue harness and hoist him to safety.

The boater said had gone out aboard his 10-foot boat to render assistance by taking spare engine to a disabled vessel that had fired two flares. In the process, his vessel ran aground and was struck by a large wave that capsized the boat and forced him into the water.

The Coast Guard aircrew took the boater to the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to waiting Emergency Medical Service personnel.

The picture is courtesy of United States Coast Guard. It shows the crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen with a survivor of a capsized vessel at the Luis Munoz Marin airport in San Juan Nov. 19, 2018, following his rescue by the Coast Guard aircrew off Point Picua in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Nov 29, 2018