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Meet the SPSR Members

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   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:  Robert Gwaltney       Board of Directors
Vice Pres:  Jim Bullard            Jim Rankin
Secretary:  Bill Turville            Don Shearouse  
Treasurer:  Don Stone             Bob Haas

Senior Boat Captain:  Buddy Sylvia
 Boat Captain:  Skip Campbell     
Past President:  Russ Bertino


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 SPSR has five boats in operation.

Presently serving Smith Point Sea Rescue is a

  • 42 foot Provincial (Rescue I)
  • 32 foot Carmen (Rescue II) 
  • 27 foot Blackfin (Rescue III)
  • 21 foot Carolina Skiff (Used for shallow water rescues)
  • 19 foot Carolina Skiff (Used for shallow water rescues)

          Rescue 3 
                          Rescue 1

                     Rescue 2 

    Rescue I is
    kept on Cockrell's Creek off the Great Wicomico River.
    Rescue II is based at Olverson's Marina on Lodge Creek near Callao.
    Rescue III is stationed at Smith Point Marina on the Little Wicomico River.
    Skiffs  -  One parked in the Cockrell's Creek facility and the other is located at Olverson's Marina.

    Smith Point Sea Rescue does NOT charge for rescue services. 

    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 Spring Oyster Roast and the annual fall mail solicitation. 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