Two Rescued from Sinking Boat off Va’s Eastern Shore

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan Wyco

Two people were stranded in the water for four hours after their boat sank Monday afternoon.

The 170-foot-long U.S. Army vessel New Orleans was first on the scene, 6.5 miles west of Fisherman Island. Soldiers pulled the two people from the water. The boaters had been aboard a 16-foot boat that became swamped by weather four hours earlier.

The Army crew called Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads, which launched a response boat from Station Cape Charles. The Coast Guard transferred the two survivors from the Army vessel back to shore.

USCG says one good decision probably made the difference between life and death for the boaters:

“These people’s vessel sank so fast that they were unable to use their communication devices to call for help,” said Lt. Cdr. Trisha Jantzen, Sector Hampton Roads command center chief. “Thankfully, they were smart enough to already have their life jackets on, which is the number one way to increase your chances of survival in the water. Without the life jackets, these survivors may not have been able to stay afloat for the four hours they were in the water before they were rescued.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano