Woman, 3-Year-Old Rescued from Jet Ski near Chincoteague

A woman and a three-year-old boy were rescued from a jet ski near Chincoteague overnight on Sunday, and the Coast Guard says it’s a reminder to take safety measures every time you go out on the water.

The Coast Guard says 57-year-old woman and the little boy were reported missing at 1:50 a.m. They launched a helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City and a Cape Charles boat crew while the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) launched two marine units.

The crews focused on the jet ski’s last known position in Horntown Bay and the helicopter guided the boat crews to the jet ski, with the woman and child still on board. VMRC tells Bay Bulletin the jet ski had run aground and malfunctioned. Thankfully, both people were wearing life jackets.

A VMRC boat took the two victims back to shore where they were evaluated by EMS and both were okay. VMRC Deputy Chief Commissioner Ellen Bolen reminds Virginians that “jetskis have to be off the water a half hour after sundown.”

The Coast Guard says while this rescue was successful, it’s important to have an effective form of communication on board any boat.

“Marine radios that can broadcast and receive transmissions over VHF-FM CH-16 are the best way to let the Coast Guard and other mariners know you’re in trouble,” USCG says.

Both USCG and VMRC say now is an especially good time to ensure you have life jackets and file a float plan.

“With the upcoming 4th of July weekend, people should check over their gear and plan for the weather,” said Petty Officer First Class James Morrison, a watchstander at Sector Virginia’s Command Center. “People should have fun and enjoy the water, but being safe should be everyone’s number one priority.” 

For more safety recommendations and education, USCG encourages boaters to visit https://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/index.php?m=rb and seek out their local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit.

-Meg Walburn Viviano