Smith Point Sea Rescue editor Dan Morissette recently reported crews responded to the following calls for assistance:
July 1: At 12:35 p.m., the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) notified SPSR that a boat was disabled on the Great Wicomico River. Rescue 1 was dispatched with a crew of five and located a 19’ Bayliner with an overheated engine 1.5 mi. east of Glebe Pt. Bridge. The boat was towed to Billy Bob’s for repairs. Time on call:
July 2: At 11:10 a.m., the NCSO notified SPSR of a disabled small boat on Cockrell Creek. Rescue 1 responded with a crew of four and located a 15’ jet boat at the Crazy Crab with an exhaust alarm sounding. The boat was towed to Buzzard Point Marina for repairs.
Soon after returning to the SPSR boathouse from the previous mission, the same crew responded on Rescue 1 to a call reporting a sailboat aground near Horn Harbor. The crew freed the 30’ sailboat and towed it to the Horn Harbor dock. Time on call (2 missions): 3 hrs.
July 3: At 6:38 p.m., the NCSO reported that a boat was on fire west of the Glebe Pt. bridge. SPSR responded with a crew of two on Rescue 1 and located the 25’ Bertram being towed by another boat piloted by a helpful volunteer. Rescue 1 then accompanied both vessels to Billy Bob’s ramp. Time on call: 1.2 hrs.
July 4: At 6:49 p.m., the NCSO reported that a boat had suffered engine failure in the Yeocomico River. Rescue 2 was dispatched with a crew of three and located a 23’ NauticStar in the western branch of the Yeocomico near red buoy #6. Rescue towed the disabled vessel to Olverson’s Marina for haul out. Time on call: 1.75 hrs.
July 7: The NCSO notified SPSR at 8:33 p.m. of a call reporting that a person wearing an orange life jacket had been seen in the water off the mouth of Hull Creek, and then had disappeared. Rescue 1 responded from Reedville with a crew of seven and searched from Vir-Mar Beach to Hull Creek, while Rescue 2 responded from Lodge Creek with a crew of four and searched from Bay Quarter Shores to Hull Creek. The crews searched continuously for approximately four hours, using FLIR night-vision cameras and mounted and handheld spotlights. Nine other boats and two helicopters were also involved in the search. No subject, alive or deceased, was ever located, and as no missing person report or other information was discovered after the incident, it was determined that the person in the water must have swum to shore or the sighting must have been mistaken. Time on call: 5 hrs.
July 16: At 5:52 p.m., the NCSO alerted SPSR that a vessel in the Coan River had lost its steering with a storm approaching. Before getting underway with a crew of four, Rescue 2 was advised that the captain of the disabled vessel had added hydraulic fluid to restore the steering system and was heading toward Lewisetta Marina. Rescue 2 then located the vessel, a 32’ deadrise, and assisted in securing it to the Marina dock. Time on call: 1 hr.
July 20: At 7:25 a.m., the NCSO notified SPSR that a vessel was in distress off Smith Point. Rescue 3 was dispatched with a crew of four and located the 34’ trawler near Smith Point Jetty with a crab pot in its wheel (propeller). The trawler was towed to Smith Point Marina for repair. Time on call: 1.5 hrs.
July 22: At 8:15 p.m. SPSR received a call from the NCSO reporting two vessels needing assistance in Ingram Bay. Rescue 1 (three crew) and Rescue A (two crew) were dispatched and located a Grady White with an overheating engine towing a disabled 25′ deadrise, The crews then assisted both boats to Jennings Boatyard. Time on call: 1.5 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 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.