Two Men Hurt in Lifeboat Accident on Tanker Off Chincoteague

The 751-foot crude oil tanker, Chemtrans Nova . Photo:

The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted two injured men, who fell overboard from a tanker, on the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday, 70 miles off Chincoteague.

USCG says the two engineers were working on an enclosed lifeboat on the 751-foot tanker, Chemtrans Nova, when the lifeboat broke free, and both men went overboard with it. Crew members called Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads for help, and Cutter Reliance happened to be on patrol about 20 miles away.

The Cutter’s small boat crew rescued one person off of the lifeboat and pulled the other from the water. USCG says their injuries included “a stomach laceration and a broken leg.”

A helicopter was launched to medevac the two men, and they were rushed to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital for additional care. A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon airplane crew helped coordinate the medevac.

“The Navy was very helpful. After they overheard the broadcast, they helped locate the men in the water and stayed on scene until the nearby Coast Guard cutter arrived,” said Chief Petty Officer Josh French, a search and rescue coordinator at Sector Hampton Roads. “It was definitely a collaborative effort to rescue them. They were fortunate things fell in place, with everyone being close by.”

The Chemtrans Nova left Phliadelphia on Monday, carrying crude oil on its way to St. Eustastius.

-Meg Walburn Viviano