PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WNCT) Boaters and swimmers took to the water this Fourth of July weekend, and Coast Guard units and command center personnel responded to a higher number of on-water emergencies than usual, from New Jersey to North Carolina.
Coast Guard crews across the Fifth Coast Guard District assisted in responding to three medical evacuations, six vessels taking on water, four jet ski-specific incidents, two capsized vessels/watercraft, one vessel on fire, seven disabled vessel tows, and also investigated two uncorrelated maydays, one uncorrelated flare sighting, and assisted in searches for two reportedly missing persons.
“The Fourth of July is always a weekend with high volumes of boating traffic,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, the Fifth District Public Affairs Officer. “Along with the increased number of boaters, we also see a rise in the number of preventable accidents. Some of these cases could have been avoided by boaters ensuring their recreational vessels were safe through the use of a Free Vessel Safety Check offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. We want people to be as safe as possible, and getting your vessel checked is a great first step towards being a more responsible boater.”