The overturned jon boat and operator's body were found near Anderson Park, seen here. Photo: Newport News Tourism

Man Dies on James River When Jon Boat Capsizes

A 42-year-old man has died after his jon boat overturned on the James River in Newport News Thursday evening.

Virginia Marine Police say the 12-foot boat was found capsized with a body nearby, in the area of Anderson Park, around 7 p.m. Police say the victim, Jamal Williams-Bey from Henrico County, was the only person on board, and Newport News Fire Department pronounced him dead on the scene.

Boaters in the area say winds on Thursday were 10 to 15 miles per hour and the James was choppy. An ebb current tide against wind blowing out of the northeast can be a potent combination.

Marine police say the circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation. The United States Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Police, Newport News Police Department, Newport News Fire Department, and Henrico Police Department are all helping in the investigation.

It appears Williams-Bey was not wearing a life jacket, police say.

In a released statement, VMRC says, “The Virginia Marine Police and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission offers its deepest condolences the family of Andri Jamal Williams-Bey during this time.”

Meg Walburn Viviano