UPDATE:Coast Guard responds to sinking vessel near Rudee Inlet

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a sinking vessel approximately 15 miles south of Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach Friday morning.

The operator of the sinking Fishing Vessel Knockdown made a VHF radio distress call at 7:35 a.m. reporting he had struck a submerged object and was sinking about 3 miles east of False Cape.

He also stated that he had activated his electronic position-indicating radio beacon and launched his life raft.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., launched to assist and located the man in his life raft. They hoisted him and transported him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

A 45-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek recovered the life raft and is collecting debris.

Coast Guard maritime investigators will determine if the sunken vessel is a hazard to navigation, and pollution investigators will determine if fuel and oil on the vessel pose a potential environmental threat.

Virginia Beach Fire Boat 1 also responded after receiving the Coast Guard’s urgent maritime information broadcast.

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