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 1: At 8:40 a.m., the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum (RFM) asked Smith Point Sea Rescue to tow their 40-foot deadrise, Foggy River, to Butler’s Railway for repairs. A crew of three motored Rescue 1 to the museum’s dock and successfully towed the historic vessel. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 3: At 12:35 p.m., a crew of three on Rescue 1 towed the Foggy River from Butler’s Railway back to the RFM dock. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 6: At 11:15 a.m., a crew of three took Rescue 1 up the Great Wicomico where the crew served as the safety boat while high school students cleaned up the river around Mallard Bay for the Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship. Time on call, 3.5 hours.

October 9: At 10 a.m., the captain of a 22-foot Robalo center console reported his engine had died in upper Lodge Creek. A crew of two responded with Rescue 3 and towed the vessel to Olverson’s Marina for pull out and repairs. Time on call, 1 hour.

October 14: At 10 a.m., the captain of a 20-foot Aristocrat power runabout called to report his engine had failed and he was drifting in the Potomac River off Lewisetta Point. Rescue 3 with a crew of three was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and towed the boat into Lewisetta Marina for repairs. The two passengers then boarded Rescue 3 and were returned to Olverson’s Marina where their car was parked. Time on call, 2 hours.

October 17: At 1:15 a.m., the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Maryland Marine Police asking for assistance aiding a boater in serious trouble near Smith Island, Md. The boater, who was on board a 26-foot sailboat with two dogs, had lost engine power and in very rough seas was being swept into shallow water. A crew of four departed Reedville at 1:30 a.m. and motored 15 miles through heavy seas. On arrival the crew watched as a Coast Guard helicopter successfully lifted the sailor and his two dogs from the battered vessel up into the helicopter. The crew then turned around for an arduous trip home arriving at the boathouse at 5 a.m. Time on call, 4 hours.

October 19: At 9 a.m., one crew boarded Rescue 1 in Reedville, a second crew boarded the “new” Rescue 2 at Buzzard’s Point Marina and a third crew boarded Rescue 3 in Callao. The boats assembled at Smith Point Light where the “new” boat was officially welcomed into the fleet. Upon dismissal, Rescue 1 returned to its boathouse in Reedville, Rescue 2 was motored to its new home at Olverson’s Marina and Rescue 3 was installed at Smith Point Marina, where it will now service the Little Wicomico River and nearby waters. Time on call, 3 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 does not charge for its services and can be reached on VHF channel 16 or by calling 911. Rescue 1 is based in Reedville, Rescue 2 on Lodge Creek near Callao and Rescue 3 at Smith Point.