Coast Guard Saves Good Samaritan After Aid Attempt Goes Awry

Image courtesy USCG Sector San Juan

By The Maritime Executive 2018-11-20 18:23:46

On Monday night, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew out of San Juan, Puerto Rico rescued a good samaritan after his boat ran aground, capsized and sank during an attempt to aid another vessel. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a call from a 911 emergency operator reporting a disabled vessel near Rio Grande, a community just east of San Juan. The operator said that two red flares had been sighted aboard the vessel.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and a Station San Juan rescue boat responded to the scene. When they arrived, they found that the vessel described in the report was just arriving to shore. A bystander informed them that there was still a person in the water from a second vessel, which had capsized.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew conducted a shoreline search and spotted a man in the water who was waving for assistance. The crew deployed their rescue swimmer, who retrieved the survivor and brought him safely onboard.

After the rescue, the survivor told the Coast Guard that he had gone out in a 10-foot boat to carry a spare engine to the disabled vessel. In the process, his vessel ran aground and was struck by a large wave, which capsized the boat and forced him into the water.

The Coast Guard aircrew transported the survivor to the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where EMS personnel were on hand to evaluate his condition.