Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

Smith Point Sea Rescue (SPSR) editor Dan Morissette recently reported crews have responded to the following calls for assistance:

June 2: At 6:35 p.m., SPSR received a report from the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) that a boater on a sailboat in Cockrell Creek had suffered a traumatic hand injury and was in need of assistance. A crew of three responded on Rescue 1 to the Crazy Crab dock to pick up two EMTs, then located the boater.

The EMTs stabilized the injury, and while the crew was transporting the man to an ambulance at the Crazy Crab, they encountered an unoccupied boat drifting in high winds near the Reedville “stack.” After dropping the injured man and EMTs at the dock, the crew chased down the drifting boat and towed it to the owners at Crazy Crab. Time on call: 1.5 hours.

June 5:  At 2:15 p.m. SPSR Rescue 3 with four crew responded to a NCSO report that a boat was taking on water on the beach north of the Little Wicomico jetties. The crew found the boat, an 18-foot runabout, partially sunken and awash on the sandy beach. Due to high surf and winds, Rescue 3 was unable to pull the boat free, so they assisted the owner and his family with transport home.

At 9 a.m. June 6, with wind and waves subsided, Rescue 3 returned with the same crew, but was again unable to pull boat free from the beach without destroying it, due to high tide and the amount of sand inside the boat. At 2 p.m. that afternoon, the crew returned at low tide, and with the accumulated sand removed, towed it to Smith Point Marina for repairs. Time on call (three missions): 5 hours.

June 14: At 10:21 a.m., Rescue 1 responded with a crew of five to a NCSO notification that a boater off Fleeton Point, concerned about high winds and worsening weather, requested assistance to get his 34-foot sailboat to safety.  The crew located the boat and towed to Cockrell’s Railway. Time on call: 4 hours.

June 15: At 12:23 p.m., Rescue 1 with four crew and Rescue A with two crew responded to a NCSO call reporting a sailboat aground on the Great Wicomico River. SPSR located the 26-foot sailboat aground across from Haynie Point, and towed it to the Sandy Point sailboat anchorage. Time on call: 1.5 hours.

June 19: At 9:02 p.m., NCSO reported a boater with engine trouble a mile east of Fleeton Point. Rescue 1 responded with a crew of five, located the disabled Robalo 25 and towed it to Buzzard Point Marina for servicing. Time on call: 2 hours.

June 20: At 9 a.m., SPSR received a call from a resident requesting assistance getting his disabled boat from his home dock near the Sunnybank Ferry to Smith Point Marina. Rescue 3 responded with a crew of four and towed the 22-foot Chaparral to the marina for repairs. Time on call: 1.5 Hours.

June 24: At 8:45 a.m., Rescue 1 with four crew responded to a NCSO call reporting a disabled boat in Ingram Bay. The crew located four fishermen on a 21-foot Proline with electrical problems and towed it to Shell Landing for loading onto the owner’s trailer. Time on call: 1.25 hours.

June 24: 2:44 p.m., SPSR received a Coast Guard call requesting assistance for a boat in distress at the mouth of the Potomac River. Rescue 1 responded with five crew and searched from the Potomac mouth to the VirMar Beach area, not finding any boat in distress. During the search, SPSR received a call from NCSO reporting a boat disabled in the Chesapeake Bay/Dividing Creek area. Rescue 1 redirected from VirMar Beach to Dividing Creek where the crew located a 23-foot Proline with engine problems. Rescue 1 towed the boat to Ingram Bay Marina for servicing. Total time on mission: 4 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 Smith and Tangier islands. The organization receives no regular governmental monetary support and depends solely on donations. 

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.