Coast Guard suspends search for missing diver off Vieques
By The Star Staff
The Coast Guard suspended a four-day search for a missing diver over the weekend, pending new developments, in waters that stretch from Vieques to the main island.
Missing is Joanna Rebis, 38, of Chicago, last seen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday off the coast of Punta Arenas in Vieques.
“Unfortunately we did not find Ms. Rebis, despite extensive search efforts by all responding agencies,” said Lt. Cmdr. Alberto Martínez, coordinator of the search and rescue mission for the case in a written statement.
“We remain hopeful that one day we can learn more about the circumstances that led to her disappearance,” he added. “For people who are on vacation in Puerto Rico or just enjoying a day at the beach, we recommend that you monitor the state of the sea and pay attention to the warning signs of dangerous rip currents. Most of the beaches in Puerto Rico are open water beaches and do not have lifeguards; having someone to take care of you in case of a dangerous situation could save your life or the life of a loved one.”
An official with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service initially informed observers in the San Juan Sector at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday of a diver missing off Vieques.
The Coast Guard air and surface assets involved in the search conducted a combined total of 27 air and surface searches covering 2,391 square nautical miles, an area roughly one-third the size of Puerto Rico.