Staff Report —
The U.S. Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resource Commission rescued two people in Horntown Bay near Chincoteague early Sunday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia’s Command Center received a report that a 57 year-old woman and a 3 year-old boy went missing at 1:50 a.m. Sunday. They went missing while riding a jet ski.
An Air Station Elizabeth City helicopter crew was launched along with a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles to search for the missing people.
Sector Virginia’s Command Center also coordinated the rescue with two marine units from VMRC who launched in the local area and guided the helicopter crew to the jet ski’s last known position.
The crew from the helicopter located the jet ski with the woman and child still on board and directed a VMRC boat to the scene, where the people were transferred back to shore and evaluated by local emergency medical personnel.
Boaters are reminded that the best way to get help if danger arises on the water is to have an effective form of communication. Marine radios that can broadcast and receive transmissions over VHF-FM CH-16 are the best way to let the Coast Guard and other mariners know you’re in trouble.
Additionally, boaters should always wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets, be familiar with the area they’re boating in, take a boating safety course, file a float plan so someone on shore knows where they are going and when they will be back, and never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or impairing medication.
“With the upcoming 4th of July weekend, people should check over their gear and plan for the weather,” said Petty Officer First Class James Morrison, a watchstander at Sector Virginia’s Command Center. “People should have fun and enjoy the water, but being safe should be everyone’s number one priority.”
For more safety recommendations and education, boaters are encouraged to visit https://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/index.php?m=rb and seek out their local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, and local agencies also provide boating safety courses.