Two brave Newport News officers save three people in overturned boat

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-12 18:42:05-04

Newport News, Va. - Five people were on a nearly 40-year-old boat when its engine failed. The weight of the people and their coolers was too much and the boat capsized.

Officer Jason Moyer was patrolling the area. He took action, running down a long pier, climbing a gate before spotting one of the boaters in the river.

“So I just saw one of the civilians and said ‘Hey, my gun, tell the other officers that are coming where I'm at and tell them to bring a rope.’  Just jumped in to see if I can, what I can do,” says Moyer.

Two more officers followed suit. Officer Frank Crabtree still has his hand bandaged up.

“I'm missing a few patches of skin. Nothing broken, nothing sprained; just got to wait for the wounds to heal up,” says Crabtree.

The current was strong.

Crabtree held on to a victim who was without a pulse, keeping his head above the water in case the man started breathing again.

“We both had ahold of an arm and I had ahold of a bolt in the seawall trying to keep us from going out to sea,” says Crabtree.

This is part of their job. Normally, when a call for an overturned boat comes in, the people are too far out for them to swim to.

They took action Sunday without thinking twice to save the boaters.


UPDATE: Victims identified in fatal boat accident