Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

An unusual mission, for sure, is how Smith Point Sea Rescue (SPSR) vice president Jim Bullard describes a recent call for assistance.

On September 27, two teenage sisters, whose father works at Wallops Island, launched a weather balloon from St. Michaels, Md., as part of a high-altitude science experiment.

Their goal is to perfect a system and device that will allow them to take photos from 100,000 feet above the atmosphere, said Bullard.

Attached to the balloon was a monitoring device they built themselves. The device included a camera, solar panels, a GPS tracking system and a homemade parachute. The girls tracked the balloon through the night as it traveled out over the ocean at 70,000 feet before turning west at daybreak and crossing the Eastern Shore.

On September 28, the girls received a message from the device that the balloon had burst and the device was now floating in the bay near Reedville, he said. They contacted a resident of Reedville and asked for help…