US Coast Guard Search For Survivors After Migrant Boat Grounded
The U.S. Coast Guard are looking for around 10 missing migrants who entered the water after their boat struck rocks near Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
At around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Coast Guard watchmen received a VHF call from the fishing vessel Jerimar, who reported the sighting of a possible migrant ship about two nautical miles north of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
Sector San Juan called for the launch of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter from Borinquen Air Force Base and hijacked the Coast Guard Intrepid to look for.
Shortly after, the helicopter crew spotted the migrant ship, which was out of service and adrift, and headed for the Intrepid to its position. The crew of the Intrepid safely embarked 10 migrants from the disabled ship, including a man and nine women. Once on board, all received food, water and basic medical care.
The migrants – who were showing signs of cold and exhaustion – told the coast guard their ship had lost power after hitting rocks near Mona Island. After the grounding, eight of the migrants and the smuggler who organized the trip reportedly jumped off the ship and attempted to swim to shore. Survivors also reported that two other migrants – who were wearing heavy clothing – fell overboard the ship and could not swim.
Coast Guard crews are working with local authorities and the U.S. Border Patrol to investigate whether any of the migrants in this case have reached shore safely on the Mona or Monito Islands. In addition, multiple means are engaged in a search for survivors in the water. Cutters Intrepid and Joseph doyle and several helicopters from Borinquen Air Base are deployed for the search. As of Friday, no other survivors were found.