Nine Rescued After Boat Capsizes Off Norfolk

Crews still searching for one person missing


 
 

BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press | | Friday, May 13, 2011


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Virginia conducted an air and water search Friday for a missing person after rescuing nine others from a 22-foot sailboat that capsized where the Pagan and James rivers meet.

None of the ten people, who are in their 20s, were wearing lifejackets on the boat when it overturned Thursday night, Virginia Marine Resources Commission spokesman John Bull said.

Bull said the group had been attending a party in Newport News when they decided to go for a midnight cruise. It wasn't immediately clear why the boat capsized.

Five of the passengers managed to swim to shore after spending about five hours in the water and drifting about three miles, Bull said. They managed to stay afloat by clinging onto passing debris such as buoys that protect boats from banging into docks.

"It must've been a harrowing experience — clutching a floating gas can," he said.

Bull said emergency responders pulled the other four out of the water shortly after the first group knocked on the door of a nearby homeowner, who called authorities. About the same time, a tug boat captain ran into the capsized sailboat on the James River near where the Navy mothballs old ships known as the Ghost Fleet.

Bull said each of the victims — who are from the Newport News area — were taken to an area hospital and that one person wasn't in good condition, although specifics weren't immediately available. Police were at the hospital questioning those involved, he said. The identities of those on the boat have not been released.

Authorities are impounding the sailboat as part of the investigation, Bull said. He said one of the unanswered questions is whether the boat was large enough to safely have 10 people on board.

The sailboat had floatation devices on board, but the passengers couldn't get to them once the boat overturned, he said.

Coast Guard Lt. Mike Patterson said it wasn't immediately clear who the boat was registered to. He said the water temperature was 57 degrees Friday morning and that overnight conditions showed there was a light breeze with waves probably at a foot or less.

Bull said emergency responders were able to respond quickly because of a previously scheduled training exercise in the area.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, water rescue

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Technology Helps Missouri Ambulances

Strategic GPS tracking helps in Springfield.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Profile: Hospital Wing Air Ambulance

Take a look inside this Memphis service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Monitors for Wyoming EMS

Grant helps Torrington EMS get new equipment.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

London Medics Increasingly Attacked

One medic describes her violent confrontation.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Violence, Arson in Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson and elsewhere react to decision.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Bus Rollover

One killed and dozens injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Residents Dig Out and Prepare for Flooding

Flooding expected as heavy snow melts.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >