Coast Guard, local agencies assist 2 on sinking vessel off Virginia Beach

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Reginald Michell and Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Fresneda, both crew members at Station Little Creek, Virginia, use a pump to dewater a disabled 32-foot boat approximately five miles off Virginia Beach August 7, 2016. Once the boat was dewatered, the crew towed it back to Cutty Sark Marina, Virginia. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Tavares/Released)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Reginald Michell and Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Fresneda use a pump to dewater a disabled 32-foot boat approximately five miles off Virginia Beach August 7, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Tavares/Released)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and local agencies assisted two people whose vessel was taking on water approximately five miles off Virginia Beach Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a phone call from two distressed boaters at 8:48 a.m. stating their vessel was taking on water approximately five miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast at 8:55 a.m. and launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek at 9:20 a.m. and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, at 9:40 a.m.

The RBM and Jayhawk helicopter crews arrived on scene around 10:00 a.m. Assets from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Marine Police also arrived on scene around that time.

Upon arriving, the RBM crew began dewatering efforts. The two boaters were transferred to the RBM around 10:28 a.m. Both people were wearing life jackets.

The vessel was towed to Cutty Sark Marina by the RBM crew.

“The support of local agencies is great,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Castellow,  the coxswain of the RBM crew. “In this case, the Army Corps of Engineers helped us by relaying the vessel’s position to us when the vessel’s electronics went out. Because of them, we didn’t have to search at all – we just went straight to the vessel.”

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