A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat Medium like this one helped rescue the capsized boaters from a catamaran off New Point, Va.

3 Boaters Rescued Clinging to Bay Channel Marker

Three boaters are safe thanks to their decision to wear life jackets—and the efforts of emergency responders on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Coast Guard says the three people were on a catamaran that capsized Saturday night near New Point, Va., at the tip of the Middle Peninsula.

A family member had called Coast Guard Sector Virginia to report the three missing around 8 p.m. Saturday, when they didn’t return from their sail at the scheduled time.

Several emergency crews helped in a region-wide search. Along with Coast Guard boats and air crews and Virginia Marine Police, the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office and Abingdon County Fire Department responded. Crews covered Dyers Creek, Mobjack Bay, and portions of the Chesapeake.

Virginia Marina Police found two of the three people clinging to a channel marker, New Point Spit Channel Light #2. The Coast Guard recovered the third person, who had also been separated from the boat.

All three had been wearing life jackets and none suffered any injuries. They were all brought to shore and checked out by an EMS crew.

The Coast Guard says wearing life jackets was probably a life-saving decision.

“This family is celebrating Father’s Day, because everyone was wearing a life jacket,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erica Elfguinn, search and rescue coordinator for Sector Virginia. “They were successfully located in large part because of that decision. The Coast Guard appreciates the local partnerships in locating the survivors and quickly returning them all home.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano