Coast Guard helps rescue two missing divers off Puerto Rico

By Allen Cone  |  Aug. 16, 2016 at 2:15 PM
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel rescued two missing divers approximately 12 nautical miles off Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The divers were reported missing at 11:29 a.m. Saturday, when the dive boat operator lost sight of them, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release.

Coast Guard Watchstanders diverted an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from a training mission to search for them.

A few hours later, the crew located the divers' surface market buoy. The divers were then seen waving their arms, splashing water and waving a cloth.

The private vessel, which had reported earlier seeing the divers' boat, recovered the divers from the water.

"We were fortunate to have good Samaritans with operating radios nearby to assist in the search," said Lt. James Cepa, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircraft commander. "The early notification was paramount to finding these gentlemen quickly. Even on the nicest days, it's challenging to see a person in the water when searching 10 plus miles offshore. Having the proper safety equipment, wearing bright colors, and staying together all help aircrews when searching open waters."

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