Wednesday, September 27, 2023

10 rescued from overturned vessel on James River

James River Bridge. (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of VDOT)

Ten people were rescued early Saturday after their vessel overturned near the James River Bridge.

The 20-foot pleasure craft capsized around 3:45 a.m. off Morgarts Beach on the Isle of Wight County side of the river about 6 miles upstream from the bridge, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.

A team in a 29-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth rescued two of the people from the water, while the Newport News Fire Department rescued the other eight.

Two people were taken to a hospital for minor scrapes.

Virginia Marine Police charged the operator of the vessel with boating under the influence, according to the news release.

The Coast Guard did not immediately provide details on the time of the incident, its exact location or the type of vessel involved.

“Boaters should always wear their life jackets and never operate a vessel under the influence,” said Lt. Brad Milliken, the command duty officer at Sector Hampton Roads command center, in the news release. “While there were no reports of severe injuries in this incident, the outcomes in cases like this can be far worse, because not wearing life jackets and boating under the influence are the two leading factors in boating fatalities.”

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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