Daily Archives: May 14, 2011

Beautiful River; Tragic Cruise


Thursday morning, I took this photo of the  sunrise.

Less than 24 hours later, the river was a busy place with Coast Guard helicopters, cutters, police boats and fire boats.

Looking at this photo, you see the mouth of the Pagan River (the body of water closer to the camera).  In the distance is the James River.  From our side of the water to the treeline on the opposite side, just to the left of the sunrise, the river is about four miles wide.

Late Thursday night, a sailboat with ten people on board left a marina on the other side of the river. (The area where the marina is located isn’t visible in my picture.)  Shortly afterward, the boat capsized. Nine of the boaters were rescued during the night: one of those died at the hospital on Friday, and the tenth person is still missing. With binoculars, we can see police boats in the river this morning.

No details have been released other than the ten people on the boat were in their 20’s and had been at a party when they decided to take a cruise. Whatever the circumstances, it’s sad to look at this beautiful river and know that one and possibly two lives were lost out there that night.

As the mother of a son who’s probably older than any of those involved, my heart goes out to the parents of the young man who didn’t survive this tragedy, to the parents of the missing person, to the friends who did survive.  And to the person(s) whose idea it was to take that cruise.