Sailing team rescued after capsize

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016

Students in a sailing team from Smithfield High School were rescued from the Pagan River by emergency personnel Thursday afternoon.

The situation was reported about 5:15 p.m., according to an Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office press release. The call reported a possible distressed boater. Several people were seen in or near a capsized sailboat, and another boat was observed having difficulty.

Marine units from the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office and the Smithfield Police Department, along with the Smithfield Fire Department, launched into the river. Personnel from Isle of Wight County Rescue also responded.

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One sailboat had capsized, and one boat ran aground, according to the press release. Nearby was a third boat that contained the sailing coach and more students.

All students are safe without injuries, according to the press release. Emergency personnel worked with school officials to tow the boats to shore.

“I’m glad the students were able to remain calm and rely on their safety training during this incident,” Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton said in a press release from Isle of Wight County Schools. “We certainly appreciate the community’s concern as well as the quick response of our first responders in looking out for the well-being of our students.”