Coast Guard assists sinking catamaran in Chesapeake, Va.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard rescue boat crew from Station Portsmouth assisted two adults, three children and a dog aboard a catamaran taking on water near the Deep Creek Locks in Chesapeake Thursday afternoon.

The owner of the 38-foot catamaran Hull-a-balloo called watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads at approximately 11:40 a.m. stating that he was taking on approximately 200 gallons of water per minute after alliding with a log while transiting the Dismal Swamp Canal. The owner and four passengers were able to keep up with the flooding using an onboard bilge pump and hand pumps, but were unable to get all of the water out.

The 25-foot rescue boat crew arrived on scene at 12:26 p.m. and transferred two crewmembers and a gasoline-powered P-6 dewatering pump onboard the Hull-a-balloo and quickly removed the water. The Coast Guardsmen remained onboard, monitoring the crack in the hull and operating the pump as necessary, until the vessel arrived at Ocean Marine and was hauled in by dock workers there.

“When we arrived on scene all five of them were wearing their life jackets – even the dog had a life jacket,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Jones, the rescue boat crew coxswain. “It’s always important to wear a life jacket out on the water, especially in a case like this, because you never know what’s going to happen or what could go wrong.”

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