Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Resources Commission crews medevac ailing man near Jamesville, Va.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard crews partnered with a Virginia Marine Resources Commission boat crew to medevac an ailing 44-year-old man aboard a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay Saturday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads command center in Portsmouth received a phone call around 8 a.m. from a man aboard the 30-foot sailing vessel Thumper who said he was ill and struggling to navigate and anchor his vessel near Nassawadox Creek.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Milford Haven in Hudgins and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, launched to assist. The VMRC also dispatched a boat crew to the scene.

Once on scene, the helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer, who swam to the sailboat and helped transfer the ailing man to the VMRC’s vessel. The VMRC crew brought the man to the RB-M, which served as a hoisting platform for the Jayhawk crew.

After hoisting the man, the aircrew brought him to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onancock.

“The shallowness of the water created a challenging environment for our boat crew, but working with the VMRC enabled us to help this mariner quickly and efficiently,” said Jerry Besecker, operations unit controller with the Sector Hampton Roads command center. “Our local partnerships are invaluable for this reason: through teamwork, we can help more people.”

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