Four Boaters Rescued 8 Hours After Boat Partially Sinks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Four Boaters Rescued 8 Hours After Boat Partially Sinks

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DEAL ISLAND, Md.- Members from the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department rescued four people after a boat overturned Tuesday night near the mouth of the Wicomico River.

Maryland State Police said John Riggs, of Salisbury, was boating with four others when his 16-foot Carolina Skiff started getting swamped by waves during a storm off the coast of Deal Island.

According to police, the boaters put on life jackets when the vessel started taking on water around 7 p.m. The boat partially sank then rolled over, tossing the occupants into the water. The boaters held onto the vessel for 30 minutes until John Riggs decided to swim for help. Police said he reached the shore around 1 a.m.

A water search began with members from Maryland Natural Resources, state police and fire departments from Deal Island and Mt. Vernon assisting.

The MSP Aviation Unit was the first to locate the overturned vessel near the mouth of the Wicomico River around 3 a.m. Troopers directed the responding boats to their location, and the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department rescue boat located the boaters.  

According to police, the boaters were then taken to the Deal Island Harbor, where they were treated by Princess Anne Emergency Services. They were all treated and released.

The rescued boaters were identified as John Riggs of Salisbury, John F. Riggs of Rock Hall, Contessa Riggs along with two young children.

Natural Resources Police said life jackets and a quick response by first responders were responsible for the safe rescue of all of the victims in the incident. Officials are reminding citizens to wear your life jacket while boating and make sure someone is aware of your travel plans.

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