Coast Guard suspends search for crewman who fell off cargo ship near Cape Charles

CAPE CHARLES, Va. - The Coast Guard has handed over a search rescue mission over to the United States Navy after spending the night searching the water for a man who fell overboard a cargo ship Tuesday.

Watchstanders got a notification at 2:10 a.m. that a 33-year-old Chinese crewman fell overboard the 770-foot cargo ship Lara Venture at the Cape Charles Anchorage, the Coast Guard said.

The man was reportedly fastening a ladder on the anchored vessel when he fell overboard.

He was last seen wearing orange coveralls and a dark blue jacket and was not wearing a life jacket, Coast Guard officials said.

Watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, launched.

A helicopter squadron from Chambers Field on Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, has relieved the Coast Guard helicopter crew as of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"We are working with our partner agencies to locate this man," said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Bradley Milliken, command duty officer for the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center at 757-668-5555.

If you ever see a boater or sailor in distress the best way to get help is by using the radio on channel 16 to make a distress call. Otherwise call 911 and they can direct you to the Coast Guard. A direct number is 757-638-6641.