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Mid Atlantic Media Contact: (757) 398-6272

5th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: April 02, 2010

Contact: 5th District Public Affairs

Office: (757) 398-6272

UPDATE:Coast Guard responds to sinking vessel near Rudee Inlet

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a sinking vessel approximately 15 miles south of Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach Friday morning.

Nolan Agner, the operator of the sinking fishing vessel Knockdown made a VHF radio distress call at 7:35 a.m. reporting he had struck a submerged object and was sinking about 3 miles east of False Cape.

He also stated that he had activated his electronic position-indicating radio beacon and launched his life raft.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., launched to assist and located the man in his life raft. They hoisted him and transported him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

A 45-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek recovered the life raft and is collecting debris.

A Coast Guard investigating officer will determine if the sunken vessel is a hazard to navigation, and pollution investigators will determine if fuel and oil on the vessel pose a potential environmental threat. The investigators are interviewing Agner at the hospital.

Virginia Beach Fire Boat 1 also responded after recieving the Coast Guard's urgent maritime information broadcast

"This case was a touchdown for all agencies involved; however, the MVP in this evolution was the man being rescued," said Rear Adm. Wayne Justice, commander of the 5th Coast Guard District. "He wore his life jacket, he used his EPIRB and radio, and he got into his life raft. He had the right gear and knew how to use it, and it saved his life today."

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