SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive and the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection aircraft combined efforts to locate and rescue a four-man crew from the overdue coastal freighter Two Brothers Saturday, October 27 in the Caribbean Sea, approximately 75 nautical miles south of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
The four survivors from the the 87-foot coastal freighter were adrift for two days after the vessel became disabled following a fire onboard, which burned through the majority of the vessel.
“The crew did a great job in preparing for rescue and assistance once we were diverted; upon arriving on scene they again displayed the utmost professionalism and compassion in making sure the survivors were taken care of,” said Cmdr. Mark Walsh, Coast Guard Cutter Decisive commanding officer. “For many of the cutter crew, this was their first search and rescue case and it will only reinforce their resolve and dedication in making sure they are always ready.”
Sector San Juan Watchstanders received initial notification Saturday morning from one of the owners of the Two Brothers, who reported the vessel overdue after it failed to arrive to Tortola, British Virgin Islands Thursday night from a trip that initiated in the island of Aruba Monday.
Sector San Juan Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive to search for the Two Brothers and coordinated with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Caribbean Air and Marine Branch to provide assistance with the search efforts.
The crew of a responding CBP DHC-8 marine surveillance aircraft located the four crewmembers aboard the disabled Two Brothers Saturday morning.
The crew of the Decisive arrived on scene and assessed the sea worthiness of the Two Brothers and transferred the four survivors to the cutter, where they received initial medical treatment, food and water.
The survivors and the tow of the Two Brothers were transferred by the Decisive to the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo, who in turn, transferred the survivors and the tow of the vessel to the Tug Boat Midnight Express for final transport to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Pascagoula, MS, while the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.