HAMPTON, Va. – The July 4 weekend proved to be a scary one for four people boating off Hampton’s Factory Point.
Adam Bogard, the owner of a 20 ft. boat, told News 3 that on Sunday at about 6:15 p.m., the boat capsized in less than a minute after a big wave threw water into the boat and the motor cut off.
"Waves were just pounding against the stern of the boat. We took on water real fast," Bogard explained. "The whole stern of the boat took on water, and then she rolled."
Bogard said it all happened in a matter of seconds. He described that two of the passengers were able to grab life vests. He and another held onto a cooler to help stay afloat. He says crews from Hampton Fire and Rescue, the Coast Guard and the Virginia Marine Police responded.
Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum of the Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue confirms two men and two women were onboard. Chittum reports that one of the boat passengers put on a personal flotation device and was able to swim back to shore. Their crews rescued the other three.
Chittum also said a Marine standing on shore saw the boat capsized, threw on a flotation vest and swam out with another vest to help.
"Doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer you are - when you’re fighting waves and swimming for an hour, you get tired quick. So, it was a relief," Bogard described of the rescue.
Bogard says the boat is a total loss, but he's relieved everyone was OK, especially after hearing about the two people who drowned near Chic's Beach over the holiday weekend. He said he will get back on the water, but he and his passengers will be wearing a life jacket next time.
"It doesn’t matter about looking cool or anything else. The fact is that a life jacket will 100% be worn in the future by boaters underway," Bogard said.
He added, "I’ve operated many boats hundreds of times. There’s just some times the ocean will win."