Smith Point Sea Rescue vice president Jim Bullard reported crews recently responded to the following calls for assistance:
December 3: At 8:30 a.m., the captain of a 25-foot Maycraft cabin cruiser called 911 to report he was in the Chesapeake Bay off Bluff Point and his engine had died. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville and found the vessel between buoys RP and 59A with two people and a dog aboard.
The crew on Rescue 1 attached a line and towed the boat into Ingram Bay Marina for repairs. A member of Smith Point Sea Rescue then drove the captain to his home. Time on call, 2 hours.
December 12: At 9:30 a.m., two men fishing for rockfish reported they had run out of gas in the bay off Point Lookout. Rescue 1 was dispatched and located the 25-foot Grady White adrift in 3 to 4 foot seas near buoy R72, in the middle of the bay east of Ridge, Md.
This location is beyond Smith Point Sea Rescue’s coverage area but the crew could not leave the men stranded, so assisted. The crew supplied the captain with 10 gallons of gas then followed the boat as it motored toward Smith Point. Three miles from land, the boat again ran out of gas so Rescue 1 then towed the fishermen into Smith Point Marina where they could purchase fuel. Time on call, 4 hours.
December 16: At 4:30 p.m., a member of Smith Point Sea Rescue received a call from a neighbor asking for help. His 25-foot Proline cabin cruiser was hard aground near buoy B4 in the Great Wicomico and it was getting dark.
Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 were dispatched from Reedville. Rescue 2 (a skiff) carried a line from the cruiser sitting in shallow water out to Rescue 1 sitting in deep water. Rescue 1 was then able to pull the cruiser off the sandbar and into deep water. All three boats then motored together back into Reedville. Time on call, 1 hour.
December 23: At 9 p.m. on a cold and windy night, two men called 911 to report they were in a 30-foot sailboat and their engine had failed and they needed help. They were attempting to sail a boat they had just bought in Washington, D.C., to Deltaville when night fell and their engine died. They believed they were near Smith Point Light in the Bay.
Rescue 1 motored to that location but could not find them. After two hours and numerous calls Rescue 1 found the boat adrift toward Tangier Island. The crew attached a line and towed the sailboat through cold heavy seas for another two hours into Jennings Boatyard in Reedville, arriving at about 1 a.m. The Smith Point Sea Rescue captain’s assessment, “They never should have been out there.” Time on call, 4 hours.
There is a saying this time of year, “If you go into the water, you aren’t coming back.” Please be very careful, even walking out on a dock, and do not walk out on the ice.
Smith Point Sea Rescue can be reached on channel 16 or by calling 911. Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 are based in Reedville and Rescue 3 is on Lodge Creek near Callao.