Two people missing after Newport News boat collision

Posted at 8:44 AM, Jul 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-14 08:46:12-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News officials are looking for two people after two boats collided near the James River Bridge and Huntington Beach in  Newport News Saturday morning.

According to officials,  dispatch received a call around 8 a.m. for a boating accident involving a tugboat and recreational boat.

The Coast Guard told News 3 that the tugboat, Miss Hannah, called watchstanders and reported they saw the bow of a recreational boat pop up behind a tug pushing an oyster barge with a pump barge alongside.

Good Samaritans recovered four boaters who were transported to a local hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for the boaters Sunday, July 15, and are now focusing on recovery operations. “We would like to extend our condolences to those affected by this tragedy,” said Capt. Kevin Carroll, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads. “As a first responder, suspending a search is never an easy decision to make.”

Since the search began on Saturday, more than 200 square miles of searching was conducted by Coast Guard boats and helicopters, as well as support from the U.S. Navy, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Marine Police, Newport News police and fire, Hampton Roads police, York County fire and Port of Virginia.

Search assets included crews aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City 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, according to the Coast Guard.

The waterway has been re-opened between the James River Bridge and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel.

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

Stay with News 3 for updates.