Coast Guard rescues stranded mariners in Chincoteague

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Posted at 8:20 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 08:55:25-04

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.— The Coast Guard rescued three people in Chincoteague Inlet after their sailboat ran aground during severe weather Wednesday afternoon.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued after the Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia Command Center received notification of the distress at approximately 2:22 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

"Forecasted severe weather can put even the most experienced mariners at risk,” said Ensign Wyatt Nelson, a watchstander at Sector Virginia’s Command Center who helped coordinate the rescue.

Sector Virginia launched crews to a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat and a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft–Shallow Water from Station Chincoteague. An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City was also launched.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they were unable to approach the grounded sailboat due to unsafe conditions caused by the severe weather.

The aircrew managed to hoist the mariners to safety on the helicopter and transport them to Wallops Island.

“While we were fortunate that the boat stayed together long enough to effect the rescue, the distressed mariners were prepared with life jackets, which most certainly helped the rescue swimmer to get them from the boat to the helicopter safely,” said Chief Petty Officer Ross Comstock, Officer in Charge of Station Chincoteague.

No serious injuries have been reported.