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Press Release | Aug. 18, 2023

Coast Guard assists sailor aboard vessel taking on water near Salt Ponds, Virginia

A Coast Guard Station Portsmouth 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew tows a 30-foot sailboat after it started taking on water with one person aboard, two miles east of Salt Ponds, Virginia, Aug. 18, 2023.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and partner agencies assisted a 42-year-old man today after his boat began taking on water two miles east of Salt Ponds in Hampton, Virginia. 

At approximately 1:55 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Virginia watchstanders received a report of a disabled 30-foot sailboat taking on water and requested additional assistance through local city dispatch. 

The Coast Guard located the sailboat by using i911, a cellular GPS tracking software. The sailor also used a handheld flare to help rescue crews locate him.

A Coast Guard Station Portsmouth crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and a crew aboard Fire Boat 2 arrived on scene to assist. The sailor was transferred from his sailboat, which had approximately 3-feet of water on board, to the fire boat.

The Coast Guard 45-foot RB-M crew dewatered the sailboat and towed the vessel to Old Point Comfort Marina. The Hampton Fire and Rescue Fire Boat 2 crew brought the sailor to shore. 

“It’s always a great day when we can work with our partners to bring a mariner home safely,” said Cmdr. Erica Elfguinn, the search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Virginia. “As a reminder, mariners should always ensure their vessel is ready for its voyage with the necessary safety equipment onboard, including Coast Guard approved life jackets and a reliable means of communication.”