The Coast Guard rescues a sailboat 80 nautical miles south of Puerto Rico

San Juan, Feb 23 (EFE) .- The US Coast Guard rescued a sailboat that had navigation difficulties when it partially flooded about 80 miles from Santa Isabel, a municipality on the south coast of Puerto Rico.

The federal agency reported this Tuesday through a statement that the sailboat, with 8 people on board, began to flood, for which it issued a rescue request.

The sailboat was identified as the Zoma, 46 feet in length and with a Danish flag, with 5 citizens of that nationality and 3 French – including 2 minors – on board.

The vessel arrived at a safe port on Monday morning, in the city of Ponce, under the escort of the Coast Guard vessel Joseph Tezanos.

Coast Guard Commanding Officer Joseph Tezanos, Lt. Anthony Orr, said the operation was complicated due to sea conditions.

He reported that the sailboat’s crew worked to control the flooding on board and make it seaworthy.

The rescue began after Coast Guard guards in the San Juan Sector received a distress communication from the Zoma on Monday morning, in which the captain reported that the ship was flooding.

The Coast Guard flew a helicopter to the scene from Borinquen Air Station and diverted Coast Guard Joseph Tezanos to provide rescue assistance.

The Coast Guard provided the sailboat with a sewage pump that prevented its sinking.

Joseph Tezanos’ crew embarked 4 passengers from the sailboat, including the 2 minors, while the rest worked to counteract the flood.

Additionally, the Joseph Tezanos team worked to repair a one-by-two foot hole in the starboard side of the Zoma, allegedly caused by the ship’s anchor.

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Efforts by the crews of Joseph Tezanos and Zoma helped stabilize the sailboat.

The Coast Guard escorted the sailboat to the Nautical Club in Ponce, where Customs and Border Protection officers assisted in the assistance. EFE

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