TANGIER, Va. (AP) – An island in the Chesapeake Bay is working through the loss of one of its watermen.
Ed Charnock drowned after his crabbing boat sank in late April. His son Jason Charnock was rescued after treading water alone for an hour.
The 70-year-old’s death has struck a rare blow to the dwindling island community of Tangier. It rarely loses watermen to the sea.
Far more threatening are the economic pull of the mainland and sea-level rise.
More young people leave this fishing community for college or better-paying jobs. Reachable only by plane or an hour-long boat ride, Tangier has half the residents it did 40 years ago.
Ed Charnock and his 40-year-old son were determined to stay. They worked together for more than 20 years on the same crabbing boat.