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Press Release | June 30, 2023

Coast Guard aircrew rescues 2 migrant men as search of 1 other continues just off Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard air and surface units rescued two migrant men Thursday night, as the search continues for one other, following an irregular migration vessel interdiction in Mona Passage waters, Thursday morning.

A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk aircrew found and rescued the first survivor at 7:06 p.m., Thursday, approximately three and half nautical miles from shore.  The first survivor was reported to be wearing a life jacket.  Shortly thereafter, the second survivor, also reported to be wearing a life jacket, was able to contact a 911 emergency service operator and inform that he could see the helicopter searching.  Coast Guard watchstanders assisted in relaying the information to the Coast Guard aircrew who located and rescued the survivor at approximately 8:15 p.m., Thursday.

The second survivor informed losing contact with the third migrant, who was not wearing a life jacket, approximately four hours before being rescued.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan initiated the search for survivors Thursday morning, after a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted an irregular migration vessel, approximately 12 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  Following the interdiction, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier diverted to the scene and embarked 31 migrants, who alleged to be Dominican Republic nationals.  During the embarkation process, the migrants informed that they had been adrift for four or five days, and that at least three other migrants had jumped into the water using fuel containers to stay afloat just before the interdiction.

Coast Guard watchstanders proceeded to coordinate a search and rescue effort as they continued to further investigate.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier
  • Coast Guard MH-60T helicopters from Air Station Borinquen
  • Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Anyone with information on the possible whereabouts of the missing migrant is welcomed to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.