Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

On July 1, Rescue 3 responded to this sailboat on the rocks at Lynch Point on the Potomac River.

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

June 3: At 9:30 a.m., Rescue 1 with a crew of four was dispatched from Reedville to Bridge Creek where a pontoon boat had experienced an engine problem. The party boat was towed to Smith Point Marina where repairs could be made. Time on call, 2 hours.

June 9: At 7:30 a.m., a homeowner on Reason Creek off the Great Wicomico River reported that his 27-foot Sportcraft cabin cruiser had sunk at his dock. A crew of four responded with a marine pump and in heavy wind and rain pumped the water out and refloated the boat. Time on call, 3 hours.

June 16: At 4:20 p.m., the Sheriff received a call from the owner of a 20-foot Bonita bowrider power boat with two people aboard. The captain reported that his engine had failed and he was anchored in the Yeocomico River near Mundy Point. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina with a crew of three and towed the boat to Kinsale Harbor Marina. Time on call, 1.5 hours.

June 20: At 7 p.m., the charter captain of a 44-foot deadrise from Lusby, Md., traveling to Hampton called SPSR to report he was dead in the water with a transmission problem. A crew of four was dispatched from Reedville aboard Rescue 1 and located the boat near the shipping channel in the Chesapeake Bay, off Dameron Marsh. In rough seas, the crew towed the boat into Jennings Boatyard where repairs were made the following morning, and the charter captain resumed his trip. Time on call, 2.5 hours.

June 22: A crew of four on Rescue 1 towed a 25-foot cabin cruiser from Fairport Marina to Shell Landing where it was removed from the water for repairs. Time on call, 1 hour.

June 24: At 9 a.m., the owner of a 25’ cabin cruiser reported his boat disabled in Mill Creek off the Great Wicomico. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville with a crew of five and towed the craft to Jennings Boatyard for repairs. Time on call, 2 hours.

June 29: At 3:50 p.m., the captain of a 23-foot fishing boat with two aboard called the Sheriff to report he had a dead battery and needed assistance. Rescue 1 responded with four aboard and located the boat in the bay off Indian Creek. The crew applied their battery jump pack and the captain was able to start his engine and motor to Buzzard’s Point Marina. Time on call, 2 hours.

July 1: At 8:50 a.m., the Sheriff called SPSR to report a 22-foot Catalina sailboat on the rocks on Lynch Point on the Potomac River upstream of the Yeocomico River. Rescue 3, with a crew of four, responded and found two sailors standing ashore and the boat well up on the rocks. The sailors reported they had bought the boat the day before for $400 at Tall Timbers on the Maryland side of the river.

They had no motor, so they sailed across the Potomac and anchored near the Birthday Cake for the night. During the night the anchor failed, the boat blew ashore, and they awoke to find themselves driven onto the rocks. The rescue crew inspected the boat and found the hull breached with a four-foot hole, making it impossible to tow. Sea Rescue informed the United States Coast Guard, the Virginia Marine Police and the Westmoreland Sheriff that a salvage operation would be necessary. Time on call, 2 hours.

As Rescue 3 was returning to base from the mission above, they were flagged down by the three occupants of a 23-foot Boston Whaler adrift with a bearing failure in their stern drive. The crew towed the boat to the owner’s dock on nearby Dungan Cove. Time on call, 1 hour.

The members of SPSR thank the River Counties Community Foundation for its continued support. In 2019, the foundation generously funded a major engine overhaul of our primary rescue vessel, allowing us to continue serving boaters in trouble on our local waters.

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.