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a crabbing boat sinks, a father is lost, a son rescued

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a crabbing boat sinks, a father is lost, a son rescued

tangier, va. — in the final minutes of ed charnock's life, he and his son clung to each other to conserve body heat in the frigid chesapeake bay.jason charnock handed his dad the only lifejacket he could grab from their fast-submerging crabbing boat. but the choppy water swept it away."the boat sank, and dad kept on floating away staring at me," jason charnock told the coast guard in a statement he provided to the associated press."i was looking for a helicopter to come," he said. "i kept looking, and then looked back to see where my dad was, he wasn't there and must have went under."for this dwindling island community in the chesapeake bay, ed charnock's drowning in late april struck a rare blow.tangier island doesn't often lose watermen to the sea — the last death was more than a decade ago. far more threatening to its shrinking population of about 460 people are sea-level rise and the mainland's economic pull.the island, which locals claim english explorer john smith landed on in 1608, is shrinking into the bay. scientists predict residents may have to abandon tangier in 25 to 50 years.more young people are leaving the fishing community for college, the military and 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, 70, and his 40-year-old son were among those determined to stay, working together for more than 20 years on the same pine-and-fir crabbing boat.the father and son...