Aircraft and vessels searched Sunday for a missing boater in waters between St. Thomas and Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the missing boater is Alejandro Lopez, 24, a resident of St. Thomas, who was seen Thursday aboard a dinghy in Hull Bay, St. Thomas. He was last seen by another boater Friday, who reported seeing him aboard a dinghy off Culebrita Island, Puerto Rico. The boater reported that he spoke and provided gasoline to Lopez, after being asked if he had any to spare.
Lopez’s father contacted Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan Saturday afternoon, reporting he had not seen or heard of his son since Thursday when he left the residence.
The watchtanders immediately launched an MH-65D Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser to search for Lopez. Watchstanders also transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters and mariners in the vicinity of the ongoing situation.
Since Saturday, Coast Guard assets involved in the search are:
– MH65D Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen,
– Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser,
– Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft,
– Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft, and
– Civil Air Patrol fixed-wing aircraft.
The Coast Guard urged anyone who has recently seen or has information on the possible whereabouts of Alejandro Lopez to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.