Ten Boaters Rescued from James River, Driver Charged with DUI

The operator of a boat that capsized near the James River Bridge, sending ten people into the water, has been charged with boating under the influence.

The accident happened just before 4 a.m. Saturday. Newport News Police reported the boat with ten people in the water, and the Coast Guard, Newport News Fire Department, Virginia Marine Police, along with the Smithfield, Carrollton, and Rushmere Volunteer Fire Departments.

The Coast Guard pulled two people from the water, while Newport News Fire Department rescued the other eight. They were all rushed back to Aberdeen pier. Two of the people rescued went to the hospital for minor scrapes, and the other eight were uninjured.

Virginia Marine Police officers charged the boat’s operator. The Coast Guard is reminding everyone on the water to wear a life jacket every time, and never to drive a boat under the influence.

“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,” said Lt. Brad Milliken, the command duty officer at USCG Sector Hampton Roads command center.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation. For investigation information, call the Virginia Marine Police at (757) 247-2265.

-Meg Walburn Viviano