New Kent deputy jumps into river, attempts to save boater - KPTV - FOX 12


New Kent deputy swims length of two football fields, attempts to save boater

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A New Kent deputy swam the length of two football fields Sunday afternoon, in an attempt to save a missing boater in the Pamunkey River.

Teams suspended their search efforts Sunday at nightfall, with the mission now shifting to a recovery operation.

Emergency responders received the initial 911 call around 1:15 p.m. Seven minutes later, the first New Kent deputy on scene dove into the River.

"One of the New Kent deputies took his firearm off, all of his gear off and dove into the water," said Joe McLaughlin, chief deputy of the New Kent County Sheriff's Office.

"He swam out about 200 yards, could not make contact with the individual, and could not find him in the water."

The missing boater is a man in his 60s, who has yet to be identified. The search area is concentrated around Cumberland Point, where first responders describe the current as extremely strong.

Witnesses said the male boater was attempting to get his stalled motorboat to shore when he jumped off the boat in an effort to swim back.

The boater went under water and did not resurface. No one else was on the boat with him.  

The following agencies are assisting New Kent County with the search:  West Point Fire, Henrico Fire, Virginia State Police, and Virginia Department Game and Inland Fisheries. Crews are searching by air and boat.

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