Two dead, two missing in two latest boat accidents


Fish On
Jun 1, 2004
Va. Beach, VA
19' Nitro
Two dead, two missing in two latest boat accidents
By JACK DORSEY, The Virginian-Pilot
© January 19, 2006

A string of maritime casualties over the past week may have claimed four more lives Wednesday when gale-force winds sank two boats.

One body was recovered and two other men were rescued after their 58-foot fishing vessel capsized as they entered Chincoteague Inlet on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

In a second incident, another man died , two are missing and six were saved when their 135-foot tugboat sank in 20-foot seas and gale-force winds near Frying Pan Shoals off Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

The tugboat’s 500-foot barge, carrying 5.5 million gallons of a petroleum product, was set adrift when the tug began taking on water while trying to recover a crewman who had fallen overboard.

That crewman later was recovered by the Coast Guard.

Ten people are listed as dead or missing in six maritime incidents since Jan. 11.

Coast Guard officials in Portsmouth, where the Rescue Coordination Center has handled the cases, said there is no apparent trend to the inci dents.

“There’s not any one thing involved in them,” Senior Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton said. “We’re talking about commercial vessels and recreation vessels.

“The one saving grace is that in a lot of these cases their EPIRBs went off and we were able to launch aircraft and boats right away.” The e mergency p osition i ndicating r adio b eacon is an electronic device that signals a vessel’s exact position in an emergency.

Recent weather patterns have made life difficult on the water, with swift shifts in conditions and – especially – the sudden onset of strong winds as cold fronts push through.

Sustained, gusty winds also have come frequently as the mid-Atlantic region has been sandwiched between low- and high-pressure systems, setting up an “egg beater” effect with their circulation patterns working in tandem.

The two men rescued in the Chincoteague incident were found about 8:30 a.m. after falling from a life raft that capsized in heavy surf off Assateague Island .

A 47-foot motor lifeboat from the Coast Guard’s Chincoteague station and an HH-65 Dolphin search and rescue helicopter from Atlantic City, N.J., responded after the rescue center received an EPIRB alert at 6 a.m.

The dead fisherman, identified as Ted Daniels, from Washington County, N.C., was discovered on the beach by a National Park Service maintenance worker at 11:40, according to the Coast Guard.

Daniels; John Staton, 43; and Charlie Tosto, 50, were on the fishing vessel Capt. Zach, based in Wanchese, N.C., when it capsized.

Staton and Tosto were taken to Salisbury Peninsula Regional Hospital in Maryland, where they were in stable condition.

The cause of the capsizing is unknown. The inlet had 20- to 25-knot winds and 6- to 8-foot seas, with occasional 10- to 12-foot waves.

In the tugboat incident, the Coast Guard said it was alerted about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday by a distress call from the tugboat Valour that a crewman had fallen overboard in high seas about 37 miles off the coast of Cape Fear.

During the search , the tug began taking on water. A helicopter from Charleston, S.C., rescued the crewman who had fallen overboard and flew him to a Myrtle Beach, S.C., hospital.

The other eight crew members remained with the Valour until a 125-foot tugboat, arrived. It was able to rescue only five crew members before the Valour sank.

A search continued Wednesday for one crewman. One is confirmed dead, and another is thought to have gone down with the tug.

Of those rescued, one is in Wilmington, N.C., one was en route to Elizabeth City, N.C, and four are safe aboard the rescue tug , the Coast Guard said.

Earlier in the week, a cargo ship’s captain fell overboard Sunday off Cape Hatteras, N.C.; a crab fisherman remains missing from his boat since Tuesday when he apparently fell into the Pamlico River; a Suffolk father and his two sons died during a fishing trip to the James River early Saturday when their boat apparently capsized on wind-swept waters; and a New York tugboat crewman remains lost in the lower Chesapeake Bay after he fell overboard on Jan. 11.
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Almost A Member
Jun 25, 2004
yep, its been a busy season here in the Mid-Atlantic. also ther was a Tug & Fishing boat collision up around Baltimore Harbor on monday or tuesday? 3 pob from the fishing boat went in the water, all were rescued but 1 later died at the hospital.
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