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Coast Guard Searches For Texas Man Swept Away By Rip Currents In Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — The U.S. Coast Guard reports they are searching for a Texas man who was swept by currents in Puerto Rico. The man went missing Wednesday afternoon off of the Steps Beach in Rincon.

24-year-old Michael Walter, from Dallas, was last seen being swept out to sea by the currents.

Walter is reported to be a strong swimmer, approximately 170 pounds, with brown skin and wearing grey shorts.

First responders received a 911 call from a witness that reported that two persons were being pulled out to sea by the currents. The two persons reportedly were vacationing together in Puerto Rico. One of the persons was able to make it back to shore with the assistance from a bystander, who reported the incident to 911.

Following the 911 call on Wednesday, watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos to search for Walter. 

Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency rescue teams and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action maritime units are also actively searching.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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