Coast Guard Continues Search for Possible Survivors of Capsized Migrant Boat

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews continue searching Dec. 7 for possible survivors of a capsized migrant boat in waters just off Isla Saona, Dominican Republic.

So far, 21 people have been rescued, while seven others are reportedly still missing.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan overheard a VHF Channel 16 radio transmission at approximately 2 p.m. Dec. 6 from the commercial tanker Sea Board Ranger requesting assistance to find for persons in the water, approximately six nautical miles east of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic. The Sea Board Ranger crew further relayed that they located a capsized vessel at and safely recovered 20 migrants from the water.

Survivors reported that there were 28 people aboard the makeshift vessel. Shortly thereafter, Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a request for assistance from Dominican Republic authorities.

Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to search for possible survivors.

The cutter Tezanos arrived on scene located and rescued a woman from the water on the afternoon of Dec. 6, while the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter also located the capsized vessel.

Coast Guard rescue crews participating in the search are the Cutters Joseph Tezanos and Winslow Griesser, MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Air Station Miami and HH-C-130 Hercules from Air Station Clearwater, Florida.