Search continues for missing boaters

Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Search efforts continue in the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay for two missing boaters.

According to Chief Joshua French with the U.S. Coast Guard command center in Portsmouth, Dr. Stephen Perkins, 59, of Weems and Mark Ringenberg, 59, of Kansas City, were identified as the two men aboard a Boston Whaler, which departed from Weems Sunday morning, May 19, and was reported washed ashore near Mosquito Point in White Stone by a resident around 6 p.m.

According to Chief French, there was no damage to the boat’s engine and several personal items were found on board. A Coast Guard press release stated the keys were in the ignition, shoes were on the deck and cold drinks in the cooler.

“Unfortunately, there is no way to say what it is that happened,” said Chief French. “There’s no indication.

“It’s an unfortunate and sad situation,” he added.

According to Chief French, the search includes areas around Mosquito Point, the lower Rappahannock River near the Robert O. Norris Jr. Memorial Bridge and in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Water temperatures are in the upper 60s near where the boat was found.

“We are still actively searching at this point,” he said at 3 p.m. Monday, May 20.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Milford Haven and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., are searching alongside Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries teams.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads command center at 757-483-8567.