Smith Point Sea Rescue editor Jim Bullard recently reported crews have responded to the following calls for assistance:
November 5: At 1:45 p.m., the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) received a 911 call from the captain of a 35-foot cruiser who reported he was hard aground in Slough Creek off the Little Wicomico River. Rescue 3 with a crew of three towed the vessel into deep water then escorted it to Smith Point Marina for repairs. Time on call: 1 hour
November 13: At 2 p.m., a boater reported he was adrift in the Potomac River off Marshall’s Beach. Rescue 1 was dispatched from Reedville with a crew of three and located a 27-foot sailboat that was out of gas. The captain reported he had been given the sailboat and he was attempting to move it from Sherwood Forrest to Kinsale. Rescue 1 towed the boat to Jennings Boatyard for fuel. Time on call: 2 hours.
December 4: At 9:05 a.m., the captain of a 20-foot center console reported that his engine had failed and he was dead in the water near buoy #7 in the Potomac River. Rescue 2 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina with a crew of three and towed the vessel to Lewisetta Marina for repairs. Time on call: 3 hours.
December 13: At 12:15 p.m., NCSO received a 911 call from a 33-foot cabin cruiser that was attempting a journey from Washington, D.C., to Solomons Island. The captain reported that as he descended the Potomac River, he had struck an object in the water and was now unable to steer. Rescue 2 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and located the cruiser off the mouth of the St. Mary’s River. The crew towed the boat into Point Lookout Marina in Maryland where a gill net was removed from the boat’s propellors. Time on call: 5 hours.
December 18: The scientific group Dolphin Watch, that studies dolphins in the Bay, asked Sea Rescue if it would help locate a sound-beacon device that was lost in the Rappahannock River. At 7 a.m., Rescue 1 departed Reedville and rounded Windmill Point to run up the Rappahannock River to meet the Dolphin Watch staff. Rescue 1 employed its bottom scanning sonar but was unable to locate the beacon. Time on call: 5 hours.
December 27: At 1 p.m., Rescue 3 with a crew of four was dispatched from Smith Point Marina to assist the owner of a 21-foot stern drive boat that was disabled in Bridge Creek off the Little Wicomico River. The vessel was towed to a local boat ramp and placed on a trailer for future repairs. Time on call: 1.5 hours.
December 31: At 3:20 p.m., the captain of a 35-foot deadrise reported he was hard aground on the Fleeton Bar in a falling tide. Rescue 1 with a crew of four and shallow water Rescue Skiff A with two aboard were dispatched from the SPSR boathouse in Reedville. The crews were unable to move the deadrise, so they anchored the vessel for the night and transported the captain ashore. SPSR and the captain retuned the following morning at high tide and pulled the deadrise free and towed it ashore. Time on call, 5 hours:
Smith Point Sea Rescue is a 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 regular governmental monetary support and depends solely on donations.
Smith Point Sea Rescue does not charge for 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.