(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) – An unmanned and adrift sail boat was intercepted by the US Coast Guard in the Mona Passage of Puerto Rico after the owner was reported as having fallen overboard, about a mile offshore of Camuy.
The Enthalpy II was struck by a large wave, sending owned by David Thompson of Kalamazoo, MI, overboard. Thompson then swam for approximately seven hours before reaching Montones Beach, in Isabella, where he sought medical attention.
Thompson was transferred to Buen Samaritano hospital in Aguadilla for further medical care.
The Coast Guard in San Juan were notified of the incident and the crew of the cutter Joseph Napier were directed to the boat’s location through the use of the Automatic Identification System. They towed the vessel to the municipal pier in Añasco.
“This case speaks to the importance of having a reliable vessel tracking system onboard,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel Capestany, the Sector San Juan Command Center supervisor. “The sailing vessel’s Automatic identification System allowed command center watchstanders to coordinate a safe response and prevent an at-sea collision by removing this hazard to navigation from the environment.”