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Coast Guard rescues six after boat capsizes off Cape Henry, Va.

The aircrew and six rescued mariners stand beside an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at Air Station Elizabeth City, August 16, 2020, in Elizabeth City, N.C. The mariners were found after the Coast Guard received notification from their activated emergency beacon that they were in distress near Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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By MOSS BRENNAN | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: August 17, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The United States Coast Guard rescued six people 16 miles east of Cape Henry after their boat capsized in adverse weather conditions Sunday afternoon.

Members of the Fifth District Command Center received an alert that a personal locator beacon had been activated and tried to contact the owner, according to a Coast Guard news release.

When the owner could not be reached, watchstanders with the fifth district command center spoke to the secondary contacts and determined that the owner had gone fishing with a group and were provided a description of the vessel.

A MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City was conducting a training mission nearby and was diverted to the area and a Sector Virginia launched a boat crew from Station Little Creek, the release said.

The helicopter rescue crew arrived on-scene shortly after and found four people on the hull of an overturned 24-foot fishing boat, and two people on the Chesapeake Light Tower.

All six individuals, including the owner of the beacon, were pulled into the helicopter and taken to Air Station Elizabeth City.

No injuries were reported.

“The owner of the PLB had just purchased his device in June and was the only one on board who had one,” said James Cifers, a civilian watchstander at the Fifth District Command Center. “This case could have turned out quite different if the owner had not bought and registered his device. We recommend all mariners maintain updated registration and keep these devices on them while underway so we are able to find them quickly and accurately when they need us the most.”

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