Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

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

November 20: At 8 a.m., the captain of a 31-foot trawler from Jersey City, N.J., called to report his vessel was hopelessly tangled in oyster cages in the Little Wicomico River near Bamboo Island. Rescue 1 with a crew of four was dispatched from Reedville and another member of Sea Rescue who could see the entangled trawler from his home arrived in his personal boat. With help from both rescue boats, the trawler with one aboard was freed from the cages. The captain reported his transmission was inoperable so Rescue 1 towed the vessel into Smith Point Marina for repairs. Time on call: two hours.

November 21: At 3 p.m., a distress call was received from the captain of a 22-foot Grady White who was fishing with two aboard. He reported he was adrift 6 nautical miles south of Tangier Island with engine problems. Rescue 1 with a crew of five motored from Reedville across the Chesapeake Bay where they found the vessel and towed it to Buzzard’s Point Marina for repairs. Time on call: four hours.

November 27: At 2 p.m., the captain of a 30-foot Century center console reported a steering malfunction in Bridge Creek off the Little Wicomico River. Rescue 3 with three crew was dispatched from Smith Point Marina and towed the disabled vessel back to the marina for repairs. Time on call: two hours.

December 3: At 9 a.m., Rescue 1 with a crew of six motored to the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum where they picked up the museum’s 38-foot deadrise Foggy River and towed it to Jennings Boatyard to be hauled out of the water. Time on call: one hour.

December 11: At 10 a.m., the captain of a 25-foot Parker fishing boat called to report he had lost his transmission and was adrift just south of Smith Point Light. Rescue 1 with a crew of three departed Reedville; by the time they located the vessel, it had drifted four miles north. Rescue 1 towed the vessel with three aboard into Ingram Bay Marina for repairs. Time on call: three hours.

December 12: At 1 p.m., the owner of a 25-foot Striper center console reported he was dead in the water in the Little Wicomico River. Rescue 3 with a crew of four located the boat with four aboard and towed it to the owner’s dock. Time on call: one hour.

December 13: At 2 p.m., the neighbor of a Sea Rescue member called to report the engine on his 25-foot Sport Craft walk-around had failed and he was adrift in the mouth of Cod Creek off the Potomac. The member called the Sea Rescue duty captain and the two men launched a personal vessel and were able to tow the disabled boat with six aboard into a neighborhood ramp. Time on call: two hours.

SPSR reminds readers of a saying heard from watermen at this time of year, “If you go into the water now, you are not coming back.” Be extremely careful boating or even walking out on a dock, until spring warms the 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 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.