JAMES CITY — Nearly four days after a peculiar boating incident left one person dead and another adrift in the James River, police have divulged few details about what happened.
The saga began to unfold Friday night as a couple aboard a 20-foot boat left Chickahominy Haven marina bound for a festival in Surry. Within an hour the woman had fallen overboard. Over the next 36 hours the boat was found washed up in Spring Grove, and the man was found dead on the opposite side of the river.
Around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff's office received a call about a woman in the water, Sheriff Alvin W. Clayton, Sr. said. Theresa Digby was found on the Surry side of the river clinging to a piling near the ferry docks, according to Laurie Naismith with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. She added that Digby was intoxicated.
Naismith said the boat was bound for the Pork, Peanut and Pine festival at Chippokes Plantation State Park. Digby told police that about 40 minutes after departing the marina she fell off the boat.
After she was rescued, Digby was taken to Sentara Obici Hospital in Surry for treatement of hypothermia, Naismith said. It's unclear how long Digby had been in the water, but Clayton said she told deputies it was "a long time."
Clayton noted that Digby mentioned being aboard the boat with a man. When the boat drifted ashore about 12 hours after Digby was rescued, Clayton said that's when authorities realized the man was missing. Naismith said a phone and wallet belonging to Kenneth Jon Leary were found on the vessel.
That led to a search for Leary. Naismith said a jet skier on the James City side of the river found Leary's body Sunday evening about 7:30 p.m., more than 36 hours after the couple left the marina. She said Leary was identified by his fingerprints.
The investigation into the incident continues.
Robertson can be reached at 757-345-2342.