Coast Guard searching for 2 people after 4 recovered from boat collision on James River

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Good Samaritans rescued four people from the water Saturday morning, after a collision between a recreational boat, with six people aboard, and an oyster barge being pushed by a tug which was headed for an oyster bed near the James River Bridge.

First responders from multiple agencies are working together by boat and air to search for the two other people that were aboard the 19-foot center console boat when the incident occurred. The waterway is closed between the James River Bridge and the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel for safety of life.

The tug Miss Hannah called the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 at 7:44 a.m., when they saw the bow of the recreational boat pop up behind a tug pushing an oyster barge with a pump barge alongside. Good Samaritans recovered four of the people in the water and they were taken to a local hospital where they are expected to make a full recovery.

Search assets have included crews aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, Coast Guard Station Portsmouth search and rescue boats, a Virginia Marine Police airplane, a Virginia Marine Resources Commission boat, Newport News police and fire boats and a Hampton Roads police boat.

The Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resources Commission are jointly investigating the cause of the incident.

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