Waterman drowns

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi and Madison White Franks

WHITE STONE—A 72-year-old waterman from White Stone drowned Monday when he fell into the water while working, according to Lee Walker, a spokesman with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF).

Thomas Richard Jones of White Stone was apparently trying to untangle a crab pot line from the motor of his 17-foot 1960 wood cabin motorboat when he fell into the water, said Walker. The incident happened at 824 Chesapeake Trail on Antipoison Creek.

Jones was working alone and was not wearing a life jacket, said Walker.

“It appears the victim was trying to untangle crab pot line that was hung up in the motor. It was clear the motor was up and he was in the process of untangling the line when he must have lost his balance and fell over,” said Walker.

Other watermen alerted authorities when Jones did not return after crabbing. The call came into DGIF about 5:30 p.m. Monday, alerting the agency of a boating incident and possible fatality in Lancaster. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, along with White Stone Volunteer Fire Department, Lancaster County Emergency Services and DGIF responded to the scene, said Capt. Bill Webb of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.