PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - A crewman aboard a 50-foot sailboat died after he fell overboard near the mouth of the Rappahannock River Friday evening.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Brett Workman said watchstanders were notified just after 7 p.m about a man who fell overboard the schooner Cuchulain near Windmill Point in the Chesapeake Bay. The vessel had just completed racing in the annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, which started in Annapolis, Md., Thursday and ended around 4 p.m. Friday off the Virginia coast.
The 7-member crew of the Cuchulain was taking down the ship's sails in high winds and rough seas when the crewman fell overboard, said Virginia Marine Police spokesman John Bull.
The Cuchulain, based out of Pasadena, Md., was running on its diesel engines when a heavy sail knocked 68-year-old Paul Stephen Case of Racine, Wis., into the water. Bull said Case lost consciousness after he went into the water. Crew members pulled him back aboard and began CPR.
The Coast Guard launched a response boat from the Milford Haven station. The crew brought Case back to the station where they were met by Middlesex County paramedics. Resuscitation attempts by the Coast Guard and paramedics were unsuccessful, and medics pronounced him dead at the station.
Bull described Case as an experienced and avid sailor who competed in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race the last two years. Crew members told Virginia Marine Police Case was not wearing his life jacket when he fell into the water.
"This has all the hallmarks of an accidental drowning," Bull said.
The body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Richmond to determine the exact cause of death.
A van crashed into a house in Virginia Beach Wednesday, and fire officials said an elderly driver was behind the wheel.
A 12-year-old student was arrested and charged with making a threat against a Hampton middle school.
The suspect entered Oriental Decor in the Lynnhaven Crossing Shopping Center around 1:50 p.m. on Dec. 6 and stole a sword valued at $300.