CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Four people survived, without injury, after two boats blew over in the water on the Swift Creek Reservoir Saturday.
Miguel Chueca saw it all happen, and said he’s thankful for how quickly Chesterfield Fire and EMS responded. He said it was scary to watch his friends get thrown into the water after their boats capsized, all while he tried to get his own boat to safety.
“We figured that we were going to be okay,” he said. “It could’ve gone very bad.”
Chueca and his friends in the Brandermill Sailing Club saw storms on the forecast for Saturday, but he said the forecast showed the storms going northeast.
The friend group didn’t think anything of it and put their three boats on the water for a boat race, or a regatta.
“The storm changed from northeast to east and 20 minutes into the regatta we were hit by a wide wall of rain,” he said about the cold front that swept in Saturday.
That quick change blew two of the boats over, throwing the four people into the cold water. Chueca said they were shivering.
“When a boat goes over, there’s all kinds of lines and masts and booms, sails, that you can get tangled, especially when it’s a chaotic situation with strong winds,” he described, saying he is thankful they were not hurt.
He was able to get to shore, sailing towards the wind, a move he said could help if you find yourself in a bad storm on the water.
Appreciative that Chesterfield Fire and EMS responded so quickly, Chueca has a message for anybody else ready to get on the water. “Check the weather a little bit better than we did I guess,” he laughed. “We took an assumption and ran with it.”
Chueca said two of the four people who were in the water are in their 80s, but are experienced sailors, and that the worst they suffered were a few sore muscles.