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Coast Guard locate man last seen planning to take raft out on Chesapeake Bay

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard and other agencies have located a man who was last seen planning to take a raft out on the Chesapeake Bay Sunday.

Wesley Schoonmaker was found by a good Samaritan after Schoonmaker came ashore with his raft at a Machipongo beach near the person’s house and walked into their backyard. The Samaritan called 911, who notified the coast guard.

Schoonmaker left his house in Norfolk wearing a full wetsuit, planning to test out a new oar by paddling his 8-foot yellow and dark blue raft near Willoughby Spit. He said he was immediately blown away from the shore.  Overnight he drifted north with his raft until he landed in Machipongo.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and began their search efforts.

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews launched from Station Portsmouth and Station Little Creek. The crew of Cutter Mako also joined the search.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and joined Virginia Marine Police crews and other agencies in the search Saturday night.

Schoonmaker was windburned and was taken to Riverside Hospital in Olney by local EMS.

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