US Coast Guard actively searches for missing Marine off Puerto Rico beach

The U.S. Coast Guard is currently conducting a search for a missing U.S. Marine who was swimming at a beach in Puerto Rico during a high surf advisory.

Samuel Wanjiru, a 26-year-old individual, encountered a distressing situation when he entered the water on Wednesday afternoon in the beach area of La Pared in Luquillo. The U.S. Coast Guard, which is actively participating in the search efforts, provided this information.

According to the Coast Guard, the individual from Massachusetts was on a family trip to the island.

According to the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau, a 26-year-old man was carried away by strong currents.

The search for the man persisted on Thursday, with a dedicated team of divers, boats, jet skis, helicopters, and drones tirelessly scouring the area, according to the agency.

The Coast Guard has issued a warning to beachgoers and boaters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands about the dangerous conditions caused by high surf and life-threatening rip currents. These hazardous conditions are expected to persist throughout the weekend.

“This has been a tragic month for beach drownings in Puerto Rico,” stated Capt. Jose E. Díaz, the commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. He emphasized the importance of being cautious during the long holiday weekend, urging both locals and visitors to stay alert to weather conditions and heed warnings from the National Weather Service. Díaz strongly advised against entering the water at beaches along the west, north, and eastern coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands until conditions improve.”

On Wednesday, there was a separate incident where the Coast Guard recovered a man who was in distress in the water off Montones Beach in Isabela. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the man was unresponsive and was later declared dead.

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Díaz cautioned that the majority of open ocean beaches in Puerto Rico are lacking lifeguards.

He emphasized the severity of the situation, stating that it is crucial for people to understand that our ability to respond to search and rescue cases with surface vessels is limited. This limitation is necessary to avoid putting our crews and assets at further risk.

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