The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Coast Guard station at the Indian River Inlet, has reported the recovery of angler Greg Ryan on Saturday, July 9, by a civilian fishing boat.
Ryan had spent the previous night and all morning treading water — 11 hours in all — some 4 miles off the coast. He’d fallen overboard from the sport fishing vessel Hangin’ Loose at about 11 p.m. Friday night, officials said.
The boat was headed south toward fishing grounds known as The Hambone, roughly 50 miles south of Chincoteague, Va. The crew did not notice that Ryan was missing for several minutes, and was then unable to locate him immediately, Coast Guard officials said.
The Coast Guard searched intensively throughout the night with boats from Station Indian River Inlet and Station Ocean City, Md.; several helicopters from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.; two C-130 airplanes from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.; and the Coast Guard Cutter Ibis out of Cape May, N.J.
A civilian boat found Ryan the next morning. According to the Coast Guard report, the S.S. Minnow picked him up, and a 21-foot rescue boat out of Station Indian River Inlet brought him to shore for medical treatment.
He was suffering from mild hypothermia and several cuts and abrasions, and told Guardsmen he’d begun to lose consciousness shortly before the crew of the S.S. Minnow spotted him.
Commander Ron LaBrec, Coast Guard Group Eastern Shore, took the opportunity to remind mariners of the prudence of wearing life vests when operating offshore, “so they remain afloat if they can no longer help themselves.”
LaBrec especially recommended vests equipped with reflective tape and a light — particularly helpful aids to nighttime search efforts.