Coast Guard, local agencies assist four after boat sinks 6 miles off Cape Charles, Va.

60 Elizabeth CityCAPE CHARLES, V.A. — The Coast Guard and local agencies assisted four people whose boat flooded and sank Friday approximately six miles southwest of Cape Charles.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a phone call from the distressed boaters at 8:21 a.m. that their boat was taking on water and their on-board bilge pump could not keep up with the flooding.

Sector Hampton Roads issued an urgent marine information broadcast and then launched an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles at 8:23 a.m.

The Virginia Marine Police and Newport News Police Marine Unit also launched assets to locate and to assist the distressed boaters.

One of the boaters activated the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon at 8:31 a.m before the boat sank and the four people entered the water. All four people were wearing their life jackets and clung to a cooler upon entering the water.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew used the EPIRB signal to locate the four people in the water and then broadcasted their position via VHF radio to the rescue boats at 9:19 a.m.

The Newport News Police Marine Unit recovered the people from the water at 9:21 a.m. and transported them back to Newport News.

No injuries were reported.

“The people set themselves up for success because they had the EPIRB and wore their life jackets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Cowan, a pilot on the Jayhawk. “It was a happy ending for everybody.”

“They did everything by the book,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Yurkin, the coxswain of the RB-M. “They pretty much saved their own lives.”

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