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Last evening, Sunday 19 November at 5:30, Smith Point Sea Rescue pulled a New Jersey duck hunter and his dog from the 47 degree waters of Ingram Bay after his duck boat capsized. Responding to a call from a local resident, using Rescue I and the private boat of a SPSR member and his son, SPSR found the man clinging to a channel marker with his dog nearby, pulled him out of the water, and took him to a local marina where the medical rescue squad was standing by to rush him to the hospital. Thanks to an observant local bay front resident, the Northumberland Sheriff's Department, the Northumberland Rescue Squad and Smith Point Sea Rescue, two lives were saved and the boat was recovered and returned to its owner. Well done to all.

      Smith Point Sea Rescue

Smith Point Sea Rescue had its origin in the heart and mind of Dr. Robert E. Beatley and his wife, Vera. The desire to form this squad followed the successful rescue of a father and two young children. This threesome had spent a chilly November night hanging onto the bow of a sunken boat in the bay near Reedville. In the fall of 1973, Dr. Beatley's dream came true. Smith Point Sea Rescue was born. 

Smith Point Sea Rescue, Inc. was officially organized in 1974 as an all volunteer sea rescue service. Its members comprise the last remaining Volunteer Sea Rescue unit on the Chesapeake Bay. 

Members share duties year round, 24 hours a day to maintain equipment, conduct training, and respond to search and rescue missions. Smith Point Sea Rescue covers the middle Chesapeake Bay between Potomac River and the Rappahannock River and the Potomac River from Ragged Point to the Bay. All members are volunteers. 


President:  Gary Sprifke        Board of Directors
Vice Pres:  Jim Bullard                  Jim Rankin
Secretary:  Bill Turville                  Ray Dabney
Treasurer:  Leigh Doptis                Andy Kauders

During its many years, Smith Point Sea Rescue has gone from rather humble beginnings, where members volunteered their boats as well as themselves, to its current formidable and prestigious unit. Today it has three boats to operate rescue services. 

Presently serving Smith Point Sea Rescue is a

  • 42 foot Provincial (Rescue I) 
  • 19 foot Carolina Skiff (Rescue II)
  • 27 foot Blackfin (Rescue III)

        Rescue III racing to scene           Rescue I towing a boat

    Rescue I and Rescue II are kept on Cockrell's Creek off the Great Wicomico River, while Rescue III is kept at Olverson's Lodge Creek Marina and serves the lower Potomac River. 

    Smith Point Sea Rescue, receives no monetary support from any state or governmental agency. Funds are derived from donations and fund raising events such as the Oyster Roast. Smith Point Sea Rescue has a tax-exempt status [501 (c)3] from the Internal Revenue Service. 

    Smith Point Sea Rescue, is pleased to help boaters in their time of need. It monitors VHF Channel 16. Sea Rescue may also be reached through the Northumberland Sheriff's office at 804-580-5221 or 911.  
We are an all volunteer organization dedicated to providing assistance to boats having difficulties in the mid-Chesapeake Bay area.

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Copyright 2013 Smith Point Sea Rescue. All rights reserved