Five people were rescued the morning of June 25, 2018 after the boat they were in capsized near Huntington Park Beach in Newport News.
Three generations of a North Carolina family left early Monday morning for a day of fishing. After a few hours out in the water, the boat began to take on water.
The water reached up to the boater’s knees. They tried to make it back to shore but the boat suddenly rolled over, dumping the occupants out into the open water. One of the passengers, Jamichael Keys lost clung to the boat for his life. "I was holding on, and my hands were hurting," said Keys. "Then I saw the hook and had to grab on there because my other arm was slipping.”
Miraculously, two members of the Newport News Marine Incident Team spotted the struggling boaters as they were heading out to a training exercise. They arrived to the scene within minutes and rescued all five people. Injuries were minimal and all the passengers are expected to be okay.
The boat sank, but officials were eventually able to pull it out and tow it to shore several hours after the rescue.
Despite this tumultuous fishing trip, the Keys family says they're ready to go fishing again.
While boating accidents due to mechanical failure sometimes cannot be foreseen, Virginia has some laws in place to try to protect boaters. According to Federal Law, all boaters or passengers under the age of 13 must be wearing their PFD while the vessel is underway unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Furthermore, the consumption of alcohol for the driver of a boat is regulated. A boater with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more shall be presumed to be under the influence of alcohol and is subject to prosecution/and or fines.
If you're planning to take any boating excursions, please treat the voyage like you would any car trip - be safe and alert.
If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a Norfolk personal injury attorney.