Smith Point Sea Rescue Report


Smith Point Sea Rescue vice president Jim Bullard reported crews recently responded to the following calls for assistance.

February 14: At 11:20 a.m., a resident on Whays Creek called for assistance. A cable on his boat lift had broken and his 20-foot center console was hanging from its bow with the stern and engine in the water. The bow cable was also binding. Rescue 1 responded from Reedville and was able to free the boat and drop it into the water so the lift could be repaired. Time on call, 1.5 hours.

March 1: At 12:15 p.m., the captain of a 36-foot Beneteau sailboat called for assistance. The captain, from Vermont and sailing alone, was hung up on a sand bar in the Coan River. He was attempting to reach Coan River Marina in high wind and was blown off course and aground. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Lodge Creek and was able to pull the sailboat free and assist the captain with mooring the vessel at the marina. Time on call, 2 hours.

April 8: At 7:18 p.m., the captain of a 21-foot Wellcraft called to report his engine had failed in the Great Wicomico River. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville and found the boat adrift near the Glebe Point bridge. The captain was able to restart his engine and Rescue 1 escorted him back to his dock. Time on call, 1 hour.

April 10: At 11:30 a.m., the captain of a 25-foot Carolina Skiff reported he’d had an electrical fire in his outboard engine and was disabled in the Potomac River off Potomac Shores. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and towed the boat to Lewisetta Marina where the owner had left his trailer. Time on call, 2 hours.

April 14: At 5:10 p.m., the captain of a 36-foot Beneteau sailboat called for assistance. He had sailed out of White Point Marina on the Yeocomico River. As he entered the Potomac River his engine failed. In high wind he was able to sail back toward the marina but needed help reaching the dock. A crew on Rescue 3 rafted up with the sailboat and powered it to the dock. Time on call, 1 hour.

April 23: At 8:30 p.m., the captain of a 42-foot sailboat called on VHS radio that he was hard aground on a sandbar off Fleeton. The Coast Guard in Hampton heard the call and requested assistance from Smith Point Sea Rescue. Rescue 1 was dispatched in heavy wind and rain from Reedville and was able to pull the boat, which had a winged keel, free and tow it to Jennings Boatyard. Time on call, 1.5 hours

April 24: At 8:45 p.m., the sheriff received a distress call from the captain of a 30-foot Hunter sailboat. The captain, who lives on the boat and was sailing alone to Norfolk, was hard aground in Mill Creek in very shallow water. A member of Sea Rescue brought his personal skiff and was able to take a line from Rescue 1, holding in deep water, to the sailboat. The crew first had to free the sailboat’s anchor that was buried in the seabed, then pull the boat into deep water. Time on call, 2 hours.

April 29: At 11 a.m., the captain of a 24-foot Grady White fishing boat from Virginia called to report he was adrift in the Potomac River off the gas docks near Piney Point, Md. Although he had two outboard motors, both had failed simultaneously and could not be restarted. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Lodge Creek but before they could cross the Potomac the captain called to say he was under tow by another boat. Time on call, 1 hour.

Smith Point Sea Rescue can be reached on channel 16 or by calling 911. Rescue 1 and 2 are based on the Great Wicomico River and Rescue 3 is on Lodge Creek off the Yeocomico River.