Smith Point Sea Rescue editor Dan Morissette recently reported crews responded to the following calls for assistance:
August 2: At 3:30 p.m., the SPSR Northern Fleet Captain received a direct call from a former SPSR member, who stated that his neighbor had a boat that was taking on water at the neighbor’s dock at Coan Haven Road on Cellar Cove. He stated that the owner’s submersible pump was not sufficient to keep up with the water flooding the vessel. Four SPSR crew responded in their personal vehicles to the home with additional pumps to refloat the vessel, a 31’ Grand Banks trawler. The vessel was successfully raised in 2 hours. The source of the leak was then found and repaired with a temporary patch. Time on call: 3 hrs.
August 5: At 9:45 a.m., Rescue 2 with a crew of 5 had departed on a training mission when a local waterman approached in his skiff and advised that a 32’ sailboat was sinking at a private dock on Lodge Creek. Rescue 2 immediately changed course and found the vessel submerged to within a few inches of the gunwale. Power at the dock had failed, so two Rescue 2 crew assisted the owner and neighbors with running extension cords to the dock, while Rescue 2 returned to its marina so the crew could get additional pumps. When Rescue 2 returned, the extension cords had restored power to the dock, and the crew placed 3 pumps in the boat for dewatering. After 3 hours the boat had been raised. A through-hull fitting for the speed sensor was found to be the source of the leak and was repaired with a temporary plug. Time on call: 4 hrs.
August 23: At 3:20 p.m., the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) notified SPSR that a boat on the Potomac River near the mouth of the Yeocomico River was disabled with a crab pot in its sterndrive. Rescue 2 launched at 4:05 p.m. with a crew of 4 and located the vessel, a 25’ Tiara cruiser, anchored near Hog Island with 1 person aboard. Rescue 2 carefully approached close to the disabled vessel in 3 feet of rough water, and the crew managed to get a tow line to the captain. The vessel was then towed to Lodge Landing for trailering. Time on call: 2.5 hrs.
August 23: While returning to Lodge Creek on the foregoing mission, Rescue 2 was called to assist an 18’ pontoon boat, with 6 adults and 1 dog aboard, that had run out of gas on the south branch of the Yeocomico near Mill Creek. After dropping off the Tiara cruiser, Rescue 2 returned to the pontoon boat and towed it to the fuel dock at Olverson’s Marina. Time on call: 1 hr.
August 24: At 9:00 a.m., the SPSR Southern Fleet Captain received a direct call from a boater requesting that his boat, a 31’ Bertram Sportfisher with engine failure, be towed from Jennings Boatyard in Reedville to Chesapeake Cove Marina in Deltaville. Rescue 1 responded with a crew of 5 and completed the mission without incident. Time on call: 5.5 hrs.
August 25: At 3:55 p.m, NCSO notified SPSR that a boat near Smith Point Light was disabled with a dead battery. Rescue 3 was dispatched with a crew of 5 and located the vessel, a 19’ Sea Pro, with 3 persons aboard. The crew tossed a tow line to the captain of the disabled vessel and towed it to Smith Point Marina. Time on call: 2 hrs.
September 3: At 1:35 p.m., NCSO notified SPSR of a disabled boat 1 mile NW of Buoy 62 in the Chesapeake Bay. Rescue 1 was dispatched at 2:10 p.m. with a crew of 5 and located a 30’ Bertram Sportfisher with engine problems. The disabled vessel was then towed to Buzzard Point Marina. Time on call: 2.5 hrs.
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 and Rescue Skiff A are based in Reedville, Rescue 2 and Rescue Skiff B on Lodge Creek near Callao, and Rescue 3 at Smith Point.