Vessel abandoned in rough seas near Lewes

April 5, 2024

Rough seas April 3 forced two sailors to abandon ship near Lewes before they were rescued.

Members of the Lewes Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other marine units were notified about midnight that a 60-foot sailboat had struck the outer breakwater in the Delaware Bay, officials said, and two people onboard needed rescue.

The Delaware Bay Pilots’ Association responded to the scene but encountered foul-weather conditions with 6-8 foot seas, 30 knot winds, and driving rain, officials said. When they arrived, officials said, one person had abandoned the sailing vessel and was in a life raft. 

Due to the heavy sea conditions, officials said, none of the on-scene vessels were able to position themselves close enough to the survivors to effectively deploy retrieval devices. The second person abandoned ship, and both sailors were on the Outer Breakwater.

Capt. Aiden Gause of Lewes Fire Department 82-Marine 1 swam out to rescue the two, and he brought them back to Marine 1. Neither person was injured, officials said, and both were returned to the Lewes boat ramp and turned over to DNREC Marine Police.


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