Two overdue fishermen were rescued by Good Samaritans early Wednesday just off the western coast of Outer Brass, north of St. Thomas, the U.S. Coast Guard announced.
Brothers Francis Brian and Edver Brian were located inside a small cove safely aboard their 16-foot fishing boat, which had become disabled.
“This case highlights the importance of filing a float plan and letting someone responsible know the details of your trip, as well as, the selflessness of fellow mariners looking out for each other,” said Lt. Cmdr. Catherine Phillips, Sector San Juan Command Center supervisor. “The notification and information received by friends and family proved to be valuable to the search and led to the prompt rescue of the two fishermen.”
Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan were initially contacted by Edver’s wife at 12:38 a.m. Wednesday. She reported the men had not yet returned after they departed Tuesday afternoon on a fishing trip from Hull Bay.
The Coast Guard launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft vessel from Coast Guard Boat Forces in St. Thomas to search. They also diverted a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft and transmitted an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast advising boaters in the area to be on the lookout and report any sightings of the overdue fishermen or their vessel to the Coast Guard.
During the search, the Coast Guard received additional information from Marvin Brian, who reported that the two men usually went to a small cove on the west side of Outer Brass island. That’s where they were later found by the Good Samaritans, friends of the fishermen, who towed the disabled vessel back to Hull Bay, the Coast Guard said.