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US Coast Guard searching for Marine who went missing off Puerto Rico beach

US Coast Guard searching for Marine who went missing off Puerto Rico beach

A search is underway for a U.S. Marine who disappeared while swimming at a Puerto Rico beach during a high surf advisory, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Samuel Wanjiru, 26, "came into distress" after going into the water Wednesday afternoon in the beach area of La Pared in Luquillo, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which is involved in the search efforts.

The Massachusetts resident was visiting the island with his family, the Coast Guard said.

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The Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau said a 26-year-old man was swept away by currents.

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Search efforts for the man continued Thursday with divers, boats, jet skis, helicopters and drones, the agency said.

PHOTO: Authorities search for a U.S. Marine who went missing after going into the water off the area of La Pared in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, March 28, 2024. (Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau)
PHOTO: Authorities search for a U.S. Marine who went missing after going into the water off the area of La Pared in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, March 28, 2024. (Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau)

Amid the search, the Coast Guard warned beachgoers and boaters of high surf and "life-threatening rip currents" that are expected through the weekend in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"This month has been deadly when it comes to beach drownings in the area of Puerto Rico," Capt. Jose E. Díaz, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan, said in a statement. "During this long-holiday weekend, I urge locals and visitors to pay close attention to the weather conditions and warnings from the National Weather Service and that they don’t go into the water when visiting beaches in the west, north and eastern coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands until conditions subside."

PHOTO: Authorities search for a U.S. Marine who went missing after going into the water off the area of La Pared in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, March 28, 2024. (Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau)
PHOTO: Authorities search for a U.S. Marine who went missing after going into the water off the area of La Pared in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, March 28, 2024. (Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau)

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In a separate incident on Wednesday, a man who was in distress in the water off Montones Beach in Isabela was recovered unresponsive and later declared dead, the Coast Guard said.

Díaz warned that most open ocean beaches in Puerto Rico do not have lifeguards.

"People need to realize that the situation is serious enough to limit our ability to respond to search and rescue cases with surface vessels without further endangering our crews and assets," he said.

US Coast Guard searching for Marine who went missing off Puerto Rico beach originally appeared on abcnews.go.com