The Coast Guard received initial reports from family members of the overdue fishermen around 3:30 a.m., stating they were last known to be headed from Chincoteague toward Norfolk Canyon in the 26-foot fishing boat Duskey.
Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and sent the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Cochito from Portsmouth to search at approximately 6 a.m. A C-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, launched to join the search around 8 a.m.
The Hercules crew located all four people aboard the overdue fishing boat at about 11:30 a.m., approximately 50 miles southeast of Chincoteague Inlet. The boat was disabled due to mechanical problems. All four people were in good condition.
The Cochito crew towed the fishing vessel toward Chincoteague, then passed the tow, along with the four survivors, to a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Chincoteague.
“Luckily, this case had a happy ending,” said Capt. Christopher Keane, commander for Sector Hampton Roads. “Never underestimate the importance of filing a float plan and having a VHF-FM marine radio with a backup power supply on board – especially if you are headed off shore.”