A U.S. Coast Guard cutter was involved in a fatal collision with a small fishing boat off the coast of Puerto Rico on Monday.
The accident involved the USCGC Winslow Griesser and a 23-foot commercial fishing vessel, named Desakata. One of two people on board the fishing vessel was killed in the accident.
The collision took place approximately 4 nautical miles north of Dorado, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan were notified of the incident by the Winslow Griesser at approximately 2:19 p.m. on Monday and directed the launch of a 45-foot response boat crew from Station San Juan who arrived on-scene and located the damaged fishing vessel.
Following the collision, the crew of the Winslow Griesser recovered the two fishermen aboard Desakata, identified as Carlos Rosario, who was fatally injured, and his brother Samuel Rosario Beltrán, who sustained injuries but survived the collision.
The Winslow Griesser transported both of the recovered fishermen to Coast Guard Base San Juan for transfer to awaiting Emergency Medical Services.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation into the cause of the collision.
“We sincerely mourn the passing of Carlos Rosario following the collision between a Coast Guard cutter and the fishing vessel Desakata,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “We send our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones, and pray they find strength during this most difficult time. A thorough investigation will be completed to determine the causal factors that led to this collision so that we can prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.”
USCGC Winslow Griesser is a 154-foot Sentinel Class fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In 2014, the 100-foot U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo struck a 42-foot fishing vessel as it was hauling lobster traps about 9 miles off the coast of Vieques Island in Puerto Rico. The two people on board saw the cutter coming and jumped overboard, avoiding injury.
An NTSB investigation into the accident found the cutter’s officer of the deck suffered from a lack of sleep and recommended that the Coast Guard take steps to address watchstander fatigue.
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