An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Press Release | July 5, 2024

Coast Guard aircrew rescues injured woman from Tórtolos Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Coast Guard aircrew working with local emergency responders rescued an injured woman from Tórtolos Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico, Thursday. 

Rescued is a 35-year-old woman who became stranded at the beach after falling off the rocks and sustaining an ankle injury. 

Watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication from Puerto Rico Emergency Medical Services Bureau personnel reporting the distress and requesting assistance to recover the woman due to the isolated and difficult access to the area. Watchstanders directed the launch of Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Borinquen to provide rescue assistance. Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau personnel also facilitated coordination efforts. 

Once on scene, the Coast Guard aircrew lowered the aircraft rescue swimmer to assess the woman’s condition. With the assistance of municipal emergency management, state emergency medical services and Puerto Rico Police responders on-scene, the aircraft swimmer prepared the patient and used a rescue basket to safely hoist her aboard the aircraft. 

“This case was an excellent example of teamwork in and out of the helicopter,” said Lt. Luke M. Dewhirst, Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircraft commander for the case. “A lot of people came together to ensure a successful rescue, from the maintainers keeping our helicopters flying, the watchstanders at Sector San Juan coordinating with multiple agencies, the first responders who expertly tended to the survivor until we arrived, and the crew of 6038 making quick on-scene decisions. Each person played a critical role in the mission’s success.  I’m grateful to play a part in the effort and for the positive outcome. Happy Independence Day!” 

The survivor was transported to the local airport in Culebra, where she was received by State Emergency Medical Services personnel for further transport to the Culebra Center for Diagnosis and Treatment medical facility. 

For breaking news, follow us on X (formerly Twitter). For additional information, find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Make a difference on land, at sea or in the air with the Coast Guard. Visit to learn more about active duty and reserve, officer and enlisted opportunities. Information on how to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy can be found here