PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Coast Guard crews along with a Virginia Marine Resources Commission boat crew medevaced an ailing 44-year-old man aboard a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday.
Watchstanders at the Sector Hampton Roads command center in Portsmouth received a 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 Air Station Elizabeth City launched to assist. The VMRC also dispatched a boat crew to the scene.
The helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer, who swam to the sailboat and helped transfer the ailing man to the VMRC’s vessel once they arrived on scene. 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.”