VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six mariners after their boat capsized in adverse weather 16 miles east of Cape Henry on Sunday afternoon.
Watchstanders received an alert that a personal locator beacon (PLB) was activated and attempted to call the beacon’s owner.
When the owner could not be reached, watchstanders then spoke with the secondary contacts. They said the beacon owner went fishing with a group of people and they gave the watchstanders a description of the vessel.
The Fifth District Command Center redirected a nearby MH-60 Jayhawk as the crew was in the area conducting a training mission.
The aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City and a boat crew launched by Sector Virginia from Station Little Creek searched for the vessel.
The helicopter rescue crew arrived shortly after and found four people on the hull of an overturned 24-foot fishing boat, and two people on the Chesapeake Light Tower.
All six individuals, including the owner of the personal locator beacon, were hoisted into the helicopter and taken to Air Station Elizabeth City. No injuries were reported.
“The owner of the PLB had just purchased his device in June and was the only one on board who had one,” said James Cifers, a civilian watchstander at the Fifth District Command Center.
“This case could have turned out quite different if the owner had not bought and registered his device. We recommend all mariners maintain updated registration and keep these devices on them while underway so we are able to find them quickly and accurately when they need us the most.”