Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen crew rescues injured man from shoreline rocks at Domes Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter transfers a rescued man to Emergency Medical Service personnel at Air Station Borinquen Dec. 11, 2019. The man was transported to a local hospital after high breaking surf knocked him into the water from the jagged edge rocks at Domes Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico, from where he was able to climb back onto the rocks until his rescue. (U.S. Coast Guard photo). SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescued an injured man from the shoreline rocks and high surf at Domes Beach Wednesday afternoon in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Rescued is a U.S. citizen tourist from Wisconsin, in his early 20’s, who reportedly fell from the rocks into the water.  Despite the strong surf breaking over the rocks and sustaining multiple scrapes, bruises and struggled breathing, the man was able to climb back onto the rocks until he was rescued.  

“This was a challenging case due to the confined area of where the survivor fell coupled with the crashing swell on the rocks,” said Lt. Carlos Gonzalez, Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin co-pilot for the rescue. “Our rescue swimmer with the assistance of local EMS personnel did an outstanding job of assessing the situation and assisting with getting the survivor to a higher level of medical care.”

Watchstanders at Sector San Juan were able to speak to a bystander on scene who reported the incident via a 911 call.  Watchstanders directed the launch a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen, notified Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and the Rincon Municipal Police of the developing situation and issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to alert nearby vessel traffic of the distress. 

Emergency Medical Service responders on scene located the injured person on the rocks but were unable to safely remove him due to the breaking surf and the unknown extent of the survivor’s injuries. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived on scene shortly thereafter and deployed the aircraft rescue swimmer, who made his way around the jagged edge rocks and high surf to reach and assess the man’s condition.

The rescue swimmer secured the man utilizing a rescue harness and they were hoisted together aboard the Coast Guard aircraft.  The survivor was transported to Air Station Borinquen, where he was received by awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel, who transported him to a local hospital to receive further medical assistance.