Puerto Rico ferry, powerboat collide, injuring 21

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a collision between a recreational boat and a commercial passenger vessel that occurred Tuesday night just off Isla Magueyes in Lajas, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watch standers in Sector San Juan received a radio call on VHF Channel 16 at approximately 9:50 p.m. Tuesday from the recreational vessel Andrea, a 33-foot hydra sport with 10 passengers on board, who requested assistance following a collision with La Nena II, a commercial passenger vessel transporting 28 passengers and two crewmen. Coast Guard watch standers also received a 911 call from the captain of La Nena II notifying them of the incident and requesting medical assistance for injured passengers on board.

So far, 21 passengers from both vessels have been reported with injuries.

Coast Guard watch standers contacted Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces for Rapid Action in the local area to alert them of the situation, who responded with a marine unit that arrived on scene to render assistance. Coast Guard investigators arrived on scene Tuesday night and are currently investigating the cause of the collision.

Both the recreational vessel and La Nena II were able to transit under their own power to La Parguera, where Puerto Rico police, Puerto Rico emergency management personnel and emergency medical services units arrived on scene to assist and coordinate the transport of injured passengers to local medical facilities in the area. 

“We were relieved to hear that all passengers and crew from both vessels had been accounted for and were receiving assistance from emergency medical service personnel on scene,” said Cmdr. Janet Espino-Young, Sector San Juan chief of prevention. “The Coast Guard along with other local agencies will be conducting an investigation to try to determine the causal factors that led to this boat collision and prevent other similar events from taking place in the future.”

By Professional Mariner Staff