Coast Guard rescues 7 off Eastern Shore in 2 incidents

It was a busy day for the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday off Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Five people were taken to safety by the Coast Guard to Wachapreague at around 4 p.m after their boat ran aground.

Shortly before that at around 2 p.m., two people were rescued by Coast Guard personnel after their sailboat capsized off Cape Charles.

The Coast Guard said in a news release late Saturday that its 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Wachapreague notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth at 3:50 p.m. that they had found a disabled and aground 18-foot sailboat with five adults aboard.

It said the crew of the response boat returned to Wachapreague,  switched to a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat and returned to the scene and took the grounded sailboat in tow.

The boat crew transported the sailboat and its passengers to Wachapreague Town Marina by about 5:50 p.m.

“One of the reasons we regularly patrol our area of responsibility is to keep an eye out for people in trouble,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Callanan, coxswain.

“We encourage all mariners to keep working communications equipment like radios and satellite phones on board their vessels. Don’t hesitate to call for help if you need it.”

The Wachapreague rescue came just under two hours before the Coast Guard got an alert around 2 p.m. that a 14-foot sailboat was taking on water and had run aground near Cape Charles Coastal Habitat Natural Area Preserve.

The crew of that sailboat, a 70-year-old man and his 34-year-old son, had relaunched their sailboat by the time the Coast Guard was on its way, but then the boat capsized, a Coast Guard news release stated.

Both men were wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard boat crew rescued the men and towed the sailboat to Cape Charles Marina.

“Weather conditions can change unpredictably on the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Christofer Brown, coxswain for the case. “It’s important to wear your life jackets at all times and stay prepared for the unexpected, as these gentlemen were.

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