Coast Guard rescues 6 from overturned vessel

The aircrew and six rescued mariners stand beside an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at Air Station Elizabeth City, August 16, 2020, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The mariners were found after the Coast Guard received notification from their activated emergency beacon that they were in distress near Virginia Beach, Virginia. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The aircrew and six rescued mariners stand beside an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at Air Station Elizabeth City, August 16, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Coast Guard rescued six mariners after their vessel capsized in adverse weather 16 miles east of Cape Henry Sunday afternoon.

Watchstanders at the Fifth District Command Center received an alert that a personal locator beacon was activated and began to call the beacon’s owner.

When the owner could not be reached, watchstanders spoke to the secondary contacts and determined the owner went fishing with a group and were provided a description of the vessel.

The Fifth District Command Center diverted an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, who were conducting a training mission nearby, while Coast Guard Sector Virginia launched a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek.

The helicopter rescue crew arrived on-scene shortly after and found four people on the hull of an overturned 24-foot fishing boat, and two people on the Chesapeake Light Tower.

All six individuals, including the owner of the PLB, were hoisted into the helicopter and taken to Air Station Elizabeth City.

No injuries were reported.

“The owner of the PLB had just purchased his device in June and was the only one on board who had one,” said James Cifers, civilian watchstander at the Fifth District Command Center. “This case could have turned out quite different if the owner had not bought and registered his device. We recommend all mariners maintain updated registration and keep these devices on them while underway so we are able to find them quickly and accurately when they need us the most.”

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