Commercial crabber talks about finding bizarre scene in Surry

GLOUCESTER, VA (WWBT) - We've uncovered home video, shot by a commercial crabber who found a man, floating on a raft, and chained to a suitcase in the James River near the Surry nuclear plant.

Allen Jenkins tells me this is the most bizarre thing he's ever seen while working on the James. He's thankful he was in the right place at the right time for that man's sake!

Jenkins believes if it weren't for him, the 32 year old Williamsburg man may not be alive right now.

"He was kind of leaning on his side and he looked like he was getting ready to fall over board," said Jenkins.

The cell phone video gives a better perspective as to how far he was from shore.

"He had one shoe on, a pair of pants and a T-shirt. There wasn't even any oars in the boat, nothing," said Jenkins.

Chained to the intoxicated man's neck, a large black suitcase. His feet dangled over a duffle bag.

About two hours into his work on the river pulling up crab pots, Jenkins and his crew made the bizarre and frightening discovery.

Jenkins first thought he came across a dead man, until he poked him with his finger.

"I said 'Where you from?' He said, 'I'm from right here.' I said, 'Man you're floating in the middle of the James River with chains around you. What's going on? How did you get like this,'" said Jenkins.

Jenkins said nothing the man said made sense.

"He was just talking in riddles," said Jenkins.

Jenkins and his crew kept their distance. So did the Coast Guard. They too tried to talk to him.

"And said, 'Do you need help?' And the guy just said, 'Get back. Get back.' And he kept reaching down in the boat," said Jenkins.

Turns out, the suitcase was full of sand. Jenkins said the authorities waited until the man came to, before pulling him to safety.

"I didn't know if it was anything to do with terrorists. With stuff going on it was right there at the power plant; didn't know what to do at first," said Jenkins.

Authorities said this was not terrorist related. The man is now under medical observation. No charges have been filed.

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