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Smith Point Sea Rescue Report

Smith Point Sea Rescue on October 11 responded to a capsized boat in Mill Creek. After attempts to right the boat, the crew towed it to Jennings Marina.

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

September 24: SPSR supported the Northumberland Association of Progressive Stewardship Creek cleanup of the Great Wicomico River with Rescue I as safety lifeguard boat and Rescue Skiffs A and B as pickup boats. Thanks to Mike Ahart, from the participating members of SPSR, who appreciated the opportunity to support the community. Time on call: 5.3 hours.

September 27: At 10 a.m., the owner of a 31-foot SeaRay Cruiser with twin inboard/outboard engines called SPSR to report both engines were dead. Rescue I and a crew of three responded, towing the disabled vessel from Ball’s Creek to Shell Landing for haul out. Time on call: 2.5 hours.

September 30: At 7:51 p.m., Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) contacted SPSR to report a 25-foot NauticStar center console was dead in the water on the Potomac River. Rescue II responded with a crew of five and located the boat, anchored with two aboard, one-half mile east of the Coan River entrance. SPSR crew passed a “jump box” to the NauticStar captain, who was able to restart one of his engines. Rescue II then escorted the vessel to the owner’s pier in Kingscote Creek. This night mission was made safer and easier because the captain of the disabled vessel knew his latitude and longitude, anchored promptly so his vessel did not drift into shallow water, answered his cell phone when SPSR called and flashed a spotlight as Rescue II approached. Time on call: 3 hours.

October 11:  At 2:57 p.m., NCSO notified SPSR a 21-foot boat had collided with a pier and capsized, with two passengers in the water. Rescue I rapidly responded with a crew of four, learning enroute the people were out of the water. They had serious injuries but were being treated by Northumberland Emergency Services. Rescue I, with the aid of two other SPSR crew in their private boats located the Parker T-Top capsized in Mill Creek. The crew noted extensive damage to a local pier and to the Parker’s inverted hull. The SPSR crew attempted without success to right the boat before deciding to tow it to Jennings Marina, where it was righted and hauled the next day. Time on call: 3 hours.

October 12: At 10 a.m. SPSR Rescue I and crew responded to an owner’s request to tow his 31-foot Silverton with engine problems from Smith Point Marina to Jennings Boatyard for repairs. Tow completed without incident. Time on call: 2 hours.

October 12: At 5:37 p.m., SPSR received a call from NCSO that a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay needed a tow. Rescue I responded with a crew of four and located the 30-foot vessel with no power off Chesapeake Beach, between Smith Point and Fleeton Point. Rescue I towed the boat to a pier in Reedville without incident. Time on call: 4 hours.

October 18: At 10 a.m., SPSR responded to a boater’s request to have his disabled 1966 41-foot wood deadrise towed to Cranes Creek for repairs. Rescue I completed the tow without incident. Time on call 4 hours.

October 20: At noon, upon the request of several retired Coast Guardsmen, SPSR hosted a wreath-laying ceremony on Rescue I to commemorate the 11 young lives lost in the sinking of the USCGC Cuyahoga (WX-157), which was struck by the Argentine M/V Santa Cruz II, in the Chesapeake Bay near Smith Point Light on October 20, 1978.  Sea Rescue was honored to participate in the ceremony, as SPSR helped lead the civilian search and rescue and recovery effort after the sinking, which 18 Coast Guardsmen survived. 

October 23: At 2 p.m., SPRS received a call from NCSO reporting that a 36-foot Carver in Cockrell Creek had lost power and needed a tow. Rescue I dispatched with a crew of three, located the boat and completed the tow to Tiffany Yachts without incident. Time on call: 2.5 hours.

Smith Point Sea Rescue is a volunteer rescue unit serving 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. It receives no regular governmental monetary support, depending solely on donations.

Smith Point Sea Rescue does not charge for its services and can be reached on VHF channel 16 or at 911. Rescue 1 and Rescue Skiff A are based in Reedville, with Rescue 2 and Rescue Skiff B on Lodge Creek near Callao.

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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