sailing vessel became disabled due to heavy winds and rough seas

The Coast Guard rescued four people Thursday in Thimble Shoals Channel off Virginia Beach after their sailing vessel became disabled due to heavy winds and rough seas.

The Coast Guard said the 46-foot sailing vessel with four people aboard became disabled after losing its mainsail in 5-foot seas and 25-knot winds early Thursday morning.

Coast Guard Hampton Roads watchstanders in Portsmouth received a request for assistance from Towboat US for the sailing vessel Heaven at about 5:30 a.m.  after its crews were unable to assist due to heavy weather and the state of the sea, the Coast Guard said.

It said a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Little Creek in Virginia Beach launched at about 6 a.m. and took the vessel in tow at about 6:30 a.m.

"Despite the heavy winds and rough seas, we were able to hook up the tow and get these folks back to port without incident," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Geoffrey Wells.


"Windy days can make for excellent sailing, but they can also make for extremely dangerous conditions. The engine aboard sailing vessel Heaven was working, but wasn't strong enough to overcome the elements.

“We encourage all boaters to consider the conditions and the weather forecast before heading out."

The sailboat was towed to Cobb's Marina in Norfolk, arriving at about 10:45 a.m.

No injuries were reported.



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