Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue boater from boat fire

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted with the rescue of a boater Monday after the man’s 33-foot sailboat caught fire five miles west of Windmill Point in the Chesapeake Bay.

Rescued was John Lee Brown Jr.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a VHF-FM channel 16 broadcast from Brown at approximately 10:40 a.m., stating his sailboat was on fire. Watchstanders were unable to maintain communications with Brown after the initial broadcast.

A good Samaritan contacted the Coast Guard watchstanders and reported they had the burning sailboat in sight.

The watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) crew from Coast Guard Station Milford Haven to assist.

Before the Coast Guard assets arrived on scene, the good Samaritan assisted Brown off his sailboat.

The RB-M crew arrived on scene at approximately 11 a.m., transferred Brown from the good Samaritan’s boat and took him back to Station Milford Haven.

Also on scene were boat crews from the Virginia Marine Resource Commission and Towboat US.

Sector watchstanders are currently broadcasting a safety marine information broadcast and working with Brown and a salvage company to remove the sailboat.

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