Staff Report —
The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of six people Monday, 60 miles east of Chincoteague, with the help of a good Samaritan.
No injuries were reported, but the 34-foot pleasure craft was determined to be unrecoverable.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia received the initial distress call through VHF Channel 16 from the captain of the Knot Stressin’. The captain stated that the vessel’s engine room was flooded and all aboard were abandoning ship into a life raft.
The Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, an 87-foot patrol boat, was diverted to assist alongside a boat crew aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat launched from Coast Guard Station Chincoteague.
An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast issued by sector watchstanders was answered by the captain of the Fishbone, a 65-foot fishing vessel in the area. The Fishbone arrived on scene and retrieved all six survivors.
In addition to having a working VHF radio and life raft on board, all survivors had properly fitting life jackets and personal locator beacons, which allowed watchstanders to know their exact location.
“There are so many factors that made this case a success,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Pulliam, Sector Virginia command center chief in a Coast Guard press release. “We have a command center staffed by true professionals, who were able to quickly coordinate the rescue of these individuals, and there are amazing people out on the water who do not hesitate when they hear lives are in danger. These mariners were also well-prepared in terms of having the right safety equipment onboard and knowing how to use it.”