Smith Point Sea Rescue vice president Jim Bullard reported crews in May responded to the following calls for assistance:
May 7: After dark on May 6 the captain of a 39-foot cabin cruiser called the Sheriff to report that he was dead in the water in Mill Creek, off the Great Wicomico. The duty captain from Smith Point Sea Rescue called the captain and determined that he was safely anchored and happy to spend the night onboard, awaiting assistance in the morning. At 7:30 a.m. on May 7, Rescue 1 with a crew of four located the cruiser and found that it was tangled in a gill net that was now wrapped around both propellers. Rescue 1 towed the disabled craft to Jennings Boatyard where it was pulled out of the water. Unfortunately, the boat will need extensive repair after bending both its propeller shafts and rudder. Time on call, 2 hours.
May 9: At 5 p.m., the Sheriff received a call from a woman aboard a 40-foot sailboat who was in great distress having injured her eye. Smith Point Sea Rescue called Medic 1 and arranged for an EMT to meet at the Reedville boathouse and accompany the crew to the scene on the Great Wicomico River. The victim and her husband were transferred to Rescue 1 and brought to shore where the ambulance awaited. The sailboat, which was safely anchored, was recovered and returned to the local owner’s dock. Time on call, 2 hours.
May 19: At 6 p.m., the Sheriff received a call from the owner of a 20-foot bowrider power boat with six people aboard, including small children. The captain reported that his engine had failed and he was adrift in the Great Wicomico River. Rescue 1 was dispatched from the Reedville boathouse with a crew of five and towed the boat into Shell Landing where the owner placed it on a trailer. Time on call, 1 hour.
May 24: At 3 p.m., the captain of a 22-foot runabout reported his engine would not start in the waters of Bay Quarter Shores off the Potomac River. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina with a crew of three and towed the boat into the community boat ramp. Time on call, 2 hours.
May 25: At 3:30 p.m., the captain of a 30-foot cabin cruiser with six aboard including a 6-year-old, reported he had lost steering in heavy seas in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay northwest of Smith Point Light. Rescue 1 left Reedville with a crew of four and towed the cruiser to Cockrell’s Creek Railway on the Little Wicomico River for repairs. Time on call, 4 hours.
May 27: At 1 p.m., the Sheriff called to report that a female had fallen out of a kayak and was holding on to a fish net pole in the Potomac River near Northumberland Plantation. Both Rescue 1 from Reedville and Rescue 3 from Callao were scrambled but then called back when the woman was able to make her way to shore, where she was being treated by the Rescue Squad. Time on call, 0 hours.
Smith Point Sea Rescue is a totally volunteer rescue unit which serves boaters from Coles Point to the mouth of the Potomac River, south to the Rappahannock River and across the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore. The organization receives no governmental monetary support and depends solely on donations to fund their operations.
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 and 4 are on Lodge Creek near Callao.