Coast Guard rescues four from sinking boat off coast near Wachapreague Inlet

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WACHAPREAGUE, V.A. — The Coast Guard dewatered and towed a vessel with four people aboard that was taking on water, 32 miles east of Wachapreague Inlet on Thursday.  

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia received the report via VHF-FM channel 16 at 7:08 a.m. They issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, then dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat—Medium crew from Station Wachapreague, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Chincoteague, an MH-60 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City and Coast Guard Cutter Angela McShan to respond. 

The Angela McShan arrived on scene at 8:11 a.m. to assess vessel stability. At 9:05 a.m., the boat crew from Station Wachapreague’s RBM transferred a dewatering pump to the sinking vessel and took the vessel under tow. 

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After a six hour towing evolution, Station Wachapreague moored the vessel in Wachapreague where it was later trailered. No injuries were reported.


“Situations can change very quickly while you’re out on the water, which is why it’s so important to have the requisite safety equipment in case of an emergency,” said Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Butierries, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Virginia. “A working VHF-FM radio is imperative, and always make sure that you and your passengers are wearing life jackets.”