PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard rescued a man Wednesday after he fell overboard into the Chesapeake Bay near Westland.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Milford Haven in Hudgins received a call from Lancaster County Dispatch at approximately 1:29 p.m. stating a woman witnessed her husband fall overboard their 33-foot recreational vessel. She reported she was able to throw him a life jacket before he floated out of her sight.
Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast. A 29-foot Response Boat-Small (RBS) crew launched from Station Milford Haven and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and Lancaster County Fire all launched response assets as well.
The Coast Guard RBS crew arrived on scene approximately two miles southeast of Windmill Point at about 2:03 p.m., located the man and pulled him from the water. VMRC medical personnel arrived on scene, evaluated the man, returned him to his boat and escorted he and his wife to Windmill Point Marina in Westland.
“We train for this type of situation all the time, and each member of our crew knows their responsibilities,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Nieves, Station Milford Haven’s officer of the day and an RBS crewman on the case. “We recommend wearing a life jacket with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) attached. This man’s wife acted quickly and made good choices by throwing him a life jacket and calling for help. Without flotation and some type of position indicating device, chances of survival are greatly diminished should you fall overboard.”