Fishermen killed in collision with cutter off Puerto Rico

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Winslow Griesser and a commercial fishing vessel were involved in a collision Monday afternoon, approximately 4 nautical miles north of Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Following the collision, the crew of Winslow Griesser recovered the two fishermen aboard the 23-foot Desakata, identified as Carlos Rosario, who was fatally injured, and his brother Samuel Rosario Beltran, who sustained injuries but survived.

“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. Jose E. Diaz, 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 cutter Winslow Griesser. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard watch standers at Sector San Juan were notified of the incident by the Winslow Griesser crew at approximately 2:19 p.m. Monday. Coast Guard watch standers directed the launch of a 45-foot response boat crew from Station San Juan who arrived on scene and located the damaged fishing vessel.

Winslow Griesser transported both of the recovered fishermen to Station San Juan for transfer to awaiting emergency medical services. EMS delivered Beltran to the Centro Medico hospital in San Juan. The remains of Rosario will be transferred to Forensics Science Institute in San Juan.

Winslow Griesser is a 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter home-ported in San Juan. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation into what caused the collision.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller