Body of missing New Jersey boater located

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (CG Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard cancelled it’s search for Richard Best, a 49-year-old Middlesex, N.J., man, after search crews from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) located his body 1,000 yds. east of Marker 3 Buoy in the vicinity of Mattawoman Creek at 10:44 a.m.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received the initial report at 8:20 p.m. last night that Best was missing after falling from a small catamaran in a storm with 4-6 foot seas and 23 mph winds.

Coast Guard search crews aboard a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., the Coast Guard Cutter COCHITO, Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, Va., and the VMRC searched the area last night through today until the body was located today.

“We are all deeply saddened that the vast search effort of both the Coast Guard and the VMRC came to this tragic ending and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Best family,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kelley Hall, the Chief of Sector Hampton Roads Command Center Joint.

The Coast Guard encourages boaters to:

  • Always wear their life vests while on the water.
  • File a detailed float plan with friends, family, or a local marina including destination, how many people aboard, and estimated time of arrival.
  • Have a working VHF radio onboard their vessel to contact authorities in case of emergency or distress situations.
  • Check weather conditions.

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