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Coast Guard reports more distress calls, rescues over Fourth of July weekend

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Posted at 6:05 AM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 06:07:41-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Coast Guard units responded to a higher number of on-water emergencies than usual this weekend as boaters and swimmers took to the water this Fourth of July weekend.

According to the Coast Guard, crews from New Jersey to North Carolina assisted in responding to three medical evacuations, six vessels taking on water, four jet ski-specific incidents, two capsized vessels/watercraft, one vessel on fire and seven disabled vessel tows.

The Coast Guard also investigated two uncorrelated maydays and one uncorrelated flare sighting, and assisted in searches for two reportedly missing persons.

“The Fourth of July is always a weekend with high volumes of boating traffic,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, the Fifth District Public Affairs Officer. “Along with the increased number of boaters, we also see a rise in the number of preventable accidents. Some of these cases could have been avoided by boaters ensuring their recreational vessels were safe through the use of a Free Vessel Safety Check offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. We want people to be as safe as possible, and getting your vessel checked is a great first step towards being a more responsible boater.”