Rafter found safe after being blown across Chesapeake

MACHIPONGO, Va. (AP) – A rafter who was blown off course has been found after an unexpected overnight trek across the Chesapeake Bay. The Coast Guard says 49-year-old Wesley Schoonmaker launched his raft Saturday about 10 a.m. near Willoughby Spit in Norfolk and was immediately blown off course. The Coast Guard and others searched for him with helicopters and boats Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Schoonmaker, meanwhile, drifted north across the Chesapeake Bay and came ashore on a beach near Machipongo on Virginia’s Eastern Shore about 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard says a nearby homeowner called 911 for help after Schoonmaker walked up to the homeowner’s backyard. Schoonmaker was taken to a nearby hospital where he was reported to be windburned but in stable condition.

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