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VIRGINIA BEACH - A man working on a dredge off Va. Beach got caught in a rope and was pulled overboard early Friday.

He works for Weeks Marine, which is contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do sand replenishment at Sandbridge.

Officials tell WVEC.com the deckhand got his leg caught in a coil of rope connecting the dredge to the pipeline. He was pulled overboard after the all-clear signal was given to release the line.

They said two co-workers lowered a life boat from the B. E. Lindholm and went after him. They found him face down in the water and not breathing. One worker raised his head out of the water while the other unwrapped the line from around his leg. Army Corps officials say he started to cough and move as workers began tugging on his lifejacket.

They called 911 around 5:15 a.m. and paramedics were waiting when they got to shore in the 3500 block of Sandfiddler Road.

Rescue crews gave him oxygen, checked him out and then took him to the hospital just before 6:00 a.m. He is suffering from hypothermia and they are bringing his core body temperature back up, Army Corps officials confirmed.

The worker was wearing a life jacket, officials noted.

For now, no work is being done from that dredge.

According to the Army Corps, the company is placing 2 million cubic yards of sand along the five-mile beach from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to Dam Neck. The $15 million project, which began in December, is expected to be complete next month.

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