News: Coast Guard responds to sailboats in distress amidst foul weather in northeast Va.
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill
PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard responded Wednesday to a sailboat taking on water near the mouth of the Great Wicomico River and another sailboat approximately 17 miles northeast of Cape Charles that was disabled and taking on water.
Crew members aboard the 34-foot sailboat Basta contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Command Center watchstanders at approximately 5 p.m. reporting the boat was experiencing engine trouble, and they were unable to raise their sails or lower an anchor approximately six miles southeast of Ship Shoal Inlet.
Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles and an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to assist.
After being underway for approximately an hour, the boa tcrew was directed to return to base due to the 12-foot seas they were experiencing.
The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:45 p.m., established communications with the Basta and relayed their position to the command center. Due to the 40-knot winds and 12-foot seas, the helicopter was unable to hoist the crew members from the sailboat.
A crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium from Coast Guard Station Little Creek, Va., and a crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Horse, an 87-foot patrol boat home-ported in Portsmouth arrived on scene at approximately 9 p.m and was not able to get the Basta in tow.
The RB-M crew from Station Little Creek arrived on scene at approximately 10 p.m. and was unable to get the Basta in tow.
One crew member aboard the Basta was injured, and the other was unable to connect the towline.
The Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City lowered a rescue swimmer, who was able to get aboard the sailboat and secure a tow line.
The RB-M crew towed the boat to a pier at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek where the two Basta crew members were evaluated by an ambulance crew.
In a separate case, crew members aboard the 36-foot sailboat, Silver Mists, contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Command Center watchstanders at approximately 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, reporting their boat hit a submerged object, and their boat was taking on water in the Chesapeake Bay near the Reedville Airport in Reedville.
Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders dispatched a crew aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat from Coast Guard Station Milford Haven to assist. The UTB crew arrived on scene, transferred the four people from the sailboat onto the Coast Guard boat and took the people shore side in Reedsville, where they stayed in a hotel overnight and arranged for TowBoat U.S. to recover the sailboat Thursday.
This work, Coast Guard responds to sailboats in distress amidst foul weather in northeast Va., by PO1 Brandyn Hill, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.