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Press Release | March 25, 2024

Coast Guard rescues U.S. citizen from life raft in Caribbean Sea near Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued a boater from a life raft early Sunday, approximately 20 nautical miles south of Guanica, Puerto Rico. 

Rescued is Keith Mcpartlan, a 42-year-old U.S. citizen from Fla, who was the sole passenger aboard the 48-foot pleasure craft Solamar transiting off Puerto Rico.  The man reportedly abandoned the vessel onto a life raft out of concern that the vessel was in danger of capsizing.  

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a 406Mhz EPIRB alert via U.S. Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking Saturday morning from the pleasure craft Solamar, approximately 20 nautical miles south of Guayama, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk from Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos to search.  They also issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and notified Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action and Customs and Border Protection of a potential distress situation.  Watchstanders were able to establish radio communications with Mcpartlan, who relayed to be experiencing issues with his navigation equipment and that he was disoriented.   

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos located the vessel Solamar early Sunday morning going in circles, with no energized navigation lights and nobody onboard. 

As search efforts continued, the Coast Guard aircrew located a life raft at approximately 9:30 a.m. Sunday and lowered their rescue swimmer who confirmed there was a person alive aboard the life raft. The Coast Guard aircrew safely hoisted the man aboard the aircraft, who was confirmed to be Mcpartlan.  Following the rescue, the Coast Guard aircrew transported Mcpartlan to the Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

“Our crew was notified of this distress situation due to emergency position indicating radio beacon alert,” said Lt. Stan Raymond, Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter co-pilot for the case. “We cannot stress how important it is to have the proper lifesaving equipment. Great effort on all fronts and glad our crew was able to hoist the survivor and take him to safety!” 


To date over 50,000 people worldwide, in distress situations, have been rescued because they carried a 406 beacon as part of their survival gear. 


That is the fastest and simplest way for SAR authorities to respond to your distress or confirm a false alert. All U.S. coded beacons must be registered with NOAA 

Make a difference on land, at sea or in the air with the Coast Guard.  Visit to find out how to be part of a team.  

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