Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

Smith Point Sea Rescue (SPSR) vice president Jim Bullard reported crews recently responded to the following calls for assistance:

October 2: At 3:20 p.m., the owner of a disabled 18-foot bow-rider asked SPSR to tow his boat from the dock at Tommy’s Restaurant to Shell Landing where the boat could be pulled onto the owner’s trailer. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 4: At 9:30 a.m., Rescue 1 was dispatched to the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum (RFM) dock to pick up a disabled 42-foot deadrise and tow it to Butler’s Railway for repairs. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 4: At 2:30 p.m., the captain of a 42-foot deadrise reported that he was hard aground off Dameron Marsh. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville and found the boat with two aboard sitting at low tide in less than two feet of water. The deadrise had run over a crab pot and the line was tangled in the prop. Rescue 1 was unable to reach the boat so the owner agreed to stay on his craft, untangle the prop and attempt to float off the beach at high tide, which he did. Time on call, 2 hours.

October 5: At 8:50 a.m., Rescue 1 was dispatched to Smith Point Marina to pick up a 27-foot Catalina sailboat that was in inoperable condition. Rescue 1 towed the vessel to green buoy 5 in the Potomac where it was met by Rescue 3 arriving from its berth in the Yeocomico River. Leaving one member from Rescue 1 onboard the sailboat, Rescue 3 then took the sailboat under tow and delivered it to Coles Point Marina for repairs. Total time on call, 7 hours.

October 13: At 9:04 a.m., Rescue 1 towed the museum’s 42-foot deadrise from Butler’s Railway back to RFM. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 14: At 7:30 p.m., the sheriff received a 911 call from the captain of a 36-foot Catalina sailboat with engine failure in the Potomac River. The crew on Rescue 3 contacted the captain who was still sailing but unable to reach his marina without his engine and agreed to meet the sailboat near the Birthday Cake marker in the mouth of the Yeocomico River. Rescue 3 towed the sailboat with two aboard into Kinsale Harbor Marina where the boat is normally docked. Time on call, 3 hours.

October 17: At 5:05 p.m., the sheriff was called by an elderly couple from Canada who had gone aground in their 37-foot sailboat in Mill Creek off Ingram Bay. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville. A member of Rescue 1 boarded the sailboat and helped the captain retrieve his anchor, then Rescue 1 towed the sailboat into Cockrell Creek where the boat anchored for the night. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 19: At 3:45 p.m., the captain of a 32-foot trawler called SPSR to report that his engine had died near buoy green 7 in the Potomac River. Rescue 3 was dispatched from its berth in Olverson’s Marina and located the vessel anchored with a couple and their dog onboard. Rescue 3 towed the disabled trawler back to its berth at White Point Marina off the Yeocomico River. Time on call, 3 hours.

October 20: At 8:20 a.m., the captain of a 32-foot wooden sailboat called the sheriff reporting he was hard aground near buoy red 4 in the Great Wicomico River. Knowing how shallow that area is, both Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 were dispatched from Reedville. Since this was an older wooden sailboat in very shallow water the rescue crews were concerned about doing damage to the sailboat if they attempted to pull it all the way to deep water. Instead, it was agreed the captain would stay on his boat until 1 p.m. when high tide would return. The rescue boats returned and were able to pull the sailboat off the sandbar and tow it to Jenning’s Boatyard. Total time on call, 3 hours.

October 21: At 11:20 a.m., the sheriff received a call from the captain of a 24-foot cabin cruiser. The captain reported his engine had locked up and he was adrift in the Great Wicomico River near buoy B3. Rescue 1 towed the cruiser to Shell Landing and the Rescue crew assisted the captain in putting his boat on a trailer. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 22: At 3:30 p.m., the captain of a 34-foot Silverton cabin cruiser called for help, reporting he was somehow snagged in Bridge Creek. Rescue 1 responded and the crew determined the boat had run over an underwater metal cable which was now wrapped on both props. The crew took the four passengers onto Rescue 1 and delivered them to their dock. They then called Virginia Marine Police to deal with the owner of the cable. Time on call, 2 hours.

October 25: At 4:10 p.m., the sheriff received a call from a 40-foot sailboat hard aground in Cockrell’s Creek. Rescue 1 responded and was able to pull the sailboat, traveling from New Jersey, into deep water where it was able to anchor. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 27: At 10:45 a.m., the captain of the sailboat rescued on October 25 called and reported that he was now aground in Ingram Bay near buoy #4. Rescue 1 again pulled the sailboat into deep water. The crew was relieved to hear that the captain planned to leave our waters the following day. Time on call, 1 hour.

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.


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