A fisherman has died after a U.S. Coast Guard cutter collided with a fishing boat near Puerto Rico on Monday.
According to a Coast Guard press release, the Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser (WPC 1116) collided with a 23-foot commercial fishing vessel called Desakata approximately four nautical miles (about 4.6 standard miles) north of Dorado, Puerto Rico. The exact cause of the collision is not yet known and is under investigation.
The crew of the Winslow Griesser recovered the two fishermen who were aboard Desakata during the collision. The two men were identified as Carlos Rosario and his brother Samuel Rosario Beltrán.
Rosario was fatally injured. Beltrán also sustained injuries but survived the collision.
The crew of Winslow Griesser notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan of the collision at around 2:19 p.m. on Monday. Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot response boat crew from Station San Juan, which arrived at the scene and located the damaged fishing vessel.
The Winslow Griesser transported Rosario and Beltrán to Coast Guard Base San Juan for transfer to awaiting Emergency Medical Services.
Beltrán was transported to the Centro Medico hospital in San Juan.
The remains of Rosario will be transferred to Forensics Science Institute in San Juan.
“We sincerely mourn the passing of Carlos Rosario following the collision between a Coast Guard cutter and the fishing vessel Desakata this afternoon,” 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.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently leading the investigation of the collision.
Monday’s collision is less deadly than other recent crashes involving U.S. military vessels.
On June 17, 2017, the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged container ship MV ACX Crystal. Seven U.S. Navy sailors were killed in the collision.
On Aug. 21, 2017, the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the Liberian-flagged cargo ship Alnic MC. 10 U.S. Navy sailors were killed in the collision.