A Coast Guard aircrew flew two men to the hospital after they were injured falling overboard with a lifeboat from a tanker 70 miles east of Chincoteague, Wednesday.
The two engineers were reportedly working on an enclosed lifeboat when it released and they both went over with it. The crew of the tanker, Chemtrans Nova, contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders to request assistance.
The Coast Guard Cutter Reliance, a 210-foot ship, was on patrol about 20 miles away and diverted to help. Their small boat crew arrived and recovered one person off the lifeboat and the other in the water. Their injuries included a stomach laceration and broken leg.
A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon airplane crew assisted by providing communication relay support over the long distance as an Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was launched to medevac the men.
The men were taken to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital for additional care.
“The Navy was very helpful. After they overheard the broadcast, they helped locate the men in the water and stayed on scene until the nearby Coast Guard cutter arrived,” said Chief Petty Officer Josh French, a search and rescue coordinator at Sector Hampton Roads. “It was definitely a collaborative effort to rescue them. They were fortunate things fell in place, with everyone being close by.”