Coast Guard Performs Two Rescues Saturday off Virginia Coast

A 68-year-old Croatian man was medevaced from a 590-foot cargo ship by the Coast Guard Saturday morning 110 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.

Almost four hours later and roughly 100 miles north, the Coast Guard medevaced another man, this one 58 years old, from a fishing boat off the coast of Chincoteague.

In both instances, the men began suffering from medical problems and needed assistance. Once medevaced, both were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in stable condition.

The rescue off the coast of Virginia Beach began around 7:45 p.m. Friday night, when the Coast Guard received word that a crewman aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel Atlantic Tramp lost consciousness and had been experiencing symptoms of forgetfulness, loss of balance slurred speech and drooping of the right side of his face, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.

Due to the elapsed time since the man's symptoms began and the hazards of a long-range nighttime rescue — the vessel was about 230 miles off the coast — the Coast Guard planned for a dawn Saturday morning medevac.

Around 6:45 a.m., an MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter was launched from Elizabeth City and met the Atlantic Tramp about 110 miles off the coast. The crewman was transferred to the helicopter around 7:45 a.m. and taken to Sentara.

The incident in the waters off Chincoteague began around 10:45 a.m. Saturday, when the 58-year-old crewman aboard the commercial fishing boat Good News II, of Hampton, started having trouble breathing.

The Coast Guard reported that a helicopter crew from Elizabeth City was diverted from another mission to respond to the fishing boat, but it's unclear whether it was the same chopper involved in the Virginia Beach incident.

The helicopter arrived at the Good News II at 11:25 a.m., lifted the man and flew him to Sentara at about 12:20 p.m.

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