Charter boat operator dies after attempting to save sea turtle off Virginia coast

Around the South

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach police say a fishing charter boat operator died Thursday after he attempted to save a sea turtle that appeared to be tangled in a rope.

Virginia Beach Police say they got a call at 12:22 p.m. about a “possible drowning” about two miles offshore from the Oceanfront.

The preliminary investigation shows the charter boat was underway when the operator jumped off to try to free the sea turtle.

He began to struggle while he was in the water. People on the boat saw him struggling and called 911 and some jumped into the water to help him.

Virginia Beach Police Marine Patrol units were able to pull him from the water when they arrived and did CPR. Virginia Beach Fire Department and EMS also responded and assisted.

The operator was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The Virginia Beach Police Department is investigating the incident and is in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard.

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