Utah man found dead after disappearing while paddling in Puerto Rico

Oct 27, 2023, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

File photo...

File photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Utah man was found dead at a beach after going missing for a day in the waters of Playa Escondida, U.S. officials say.

Ben Kerbs, 52, was last seen by his wife on Thursday afternoon as he was paddling out from the Playa Escondida beach in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

According to the United States Coast Guard, its watchstanders at Sector San Juan received the call of Kerb’s disappearance at 1:53 p.m.

The watchstanders directed the launch of a search helicopter to look for Kerb. The Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action were unable to deploy surface assets due to unsafe heavy sea state and surf conditions.

“During search efforts Thursday afternoon, two male lifeguards who attempted to rescue Kerbs were soon overcome by dangerous sea state conditions and required rescue assistance,” the Coast Guard press release stated. “The Coast Guard helicopter diverted to the lifeguard’s position and safely hoisted them onboard.”

After returning from the lifeguard rescue, the rescue crews and the lifeguards reported seeing Kerbs’ unresponsive body in the water of the reef area.

On Friday morning, a lifeguard from the ‘Balneario’ beach in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, found Kerbs’ body and recovered it.

“We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Ben Kerbs, may they find hope and strength during this most difficult time,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Axel Thomas Peterson and his father Matthew Peterson placing flags on veteran graves at the Larkin ...

Kiersten Nunez

Honoring Veterans: 3,000 flags placed by youth volunteers

In a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have served the country, more than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley gathered to honor military veterans ahead of Memorial Day.

2 hours ago

Joan Eccles and her mother were gifted matching engraved charms. Once lost, Eccles has found the mi...

Andrew Adams

St. George family believes they found long lost charm on eBay

A St. George woman was reunited with a lost family charm in an unexpected place on the internet.

3 hours ago

A yearling bull moose was found in a neighborhood in the foothills of Ogden. (Courtesy: Crey Maxey)...

Carlysle Price

Moose found on homeowner’s porch, what to do if this happens to you

A yearling bull moose was found on a homeowner's front porch Thursday and was safely relocated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

5 hours ago

The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Police searching for man targeted by suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

5 hours ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

6 hours ago

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah man found dead after disappearing while paddling in Puerto Rico