Mission Report – September 23, 2021

Mission Report – September 23, 2021

Smith Point Sea Rescue editor Jim Bullard reported crews have responded to the following calls for assistance:

August 6: At 3:25pm the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) received a 911 call from a Callao resident who had sailed across the Potomac River to Maryland and broken down with engine failure. Rescue 2 with a crew of three was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and located a 22’ Cape Dory with two aboard in the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, near St. George Island. The crew towed the vessel back across the Potomac and to the owner’s dock on the Yeocomico River. Time on call, 3 hours 

August 6:  At 7:38Pm the captain of a 25’ Parker powerboat reported that he was hard aground on the Fleeton Bar in the Great Wicomico. Knowing this would be a shallow water rescue, two crews responded from Reedville in Rescue 1 and in Rescue skiff A. Once on site, the crew on Rescue 1 handed the tow line to the crew on the Rescue skiff so they could carry the line into the boat grounded in shallow water. Just as the skiff reached the distressed boat a large Sport Fisherman boat with a tuna tower was leaving the Great Wicomico at high speed and it drove between the two rescue boats and cut the ¾” towline. This reckless disregard for two well marked and illuminated rescue boats could have been disastrous. Had the Sport Fisherman snagged the line it would likely have violently capsized the rescue skiff injuring the crew. As it was, the Sport Fisherman never stopped, just headed east into the Bay at top speed. The towline was repaired and the Parker was pulled off the bar. This incident was reported to the USCG and the Virginia Marine Police. Time on call, 2 hours

August 29: At 1:05am a waterfront resident reported that a boat was aground on Bamboo Island in the Little Wicomico. As this is extremely shallow and protected water it was decided to use the private boat of a Sea Rescue member docked nearby to tow the 23’ center console free and into Smith Point Marina for repairs. Time on call, 2 hours

September 2:  At 1:40pm the son of a man who left Ingram Bay at 8am to go fishing called to report his father was overdue and missing. The Coast Guard Sector Virginia issued an urgent bulletin asking for assistance. The man’s boat was found adrift with no one on board. Smith Point Sea Rescue towed the boat back to the owner’s dock on Crane Creek, then joined a search operation conducted by multiple agencies. On September 4, a good Samaratin reported finding a body in the water which was later identified as the 69-year-old fisherman. Time on call, 3 hours

September 3: A waterfront homeowner on Harvey’s Creek called the NCSO to report she saw something floating in the water, possibly a body. Sea Rescue crews boarded Rescue 1 and Rescue skiff A and searched the area but found nothing. Time on call, 2 hours 

September 5: At 9:50am the captain of a 34’ Sabre sailboat from Deltaville with two aboard reported he was aground on Fleeton Bar. Rescue 1 and shallow water Rescue skiff A responded from Reedville and pulled the boat into deep water. Rescue 1 then rafted up with the sailboat by tying it alongside and towed the boat into Jennings Boatyard for repairs. Time on call, 2 hours

September 5: No sooner had the crews retuned to the Sea Rescue boathouse when another sailboat ran aground on the same Fleeton Bar. Crews reboarded their rescue boats and pulled the 27’ sailboat off the bar and towed it into Jennings Boatyard for repairs. Time on call, 2 hours

September 6: At 6:30pm the captain of a 41’ cabin cruiser jet boat reported he was hard aground on Fleeton Bar. Rescue 1 and Rescue skiff A responded from Reedville and were able to free the boat as it also used its jet to help move off the bar. Rescue 1 accompanied the cruiser part of the way home to the owner’s dock on the upper Great Wicomico River.  Time on call 2 hours

September 8:  At 10:05am the Rescue 3 was deployed from Smith Point Marina to assist a boater in a 20’ Carolina Skiff who had a bad fuel pump and was broken down in Bridge Creek. Rescue 3 towed the boat back to Smith Point Marina for repairs. Time on call 1 hour

September 11: At 3:20pm the captain of an 18’ pontoon boat with two aboard called to report he was dead in the water with engine failure off Mundy Point in the Yeocomico River. Rescue 2 with a crew of three responded from Olverson’s Marina and towed the vessel back to Olverson’s for repairs. Time on call 2 hours 

Smith Point Sea Rescue is a totally volunteer rescue unit which serves boaters from Coles Point to the mouth of the Potomac River, south to the Rappahannock River and across the Bay to the eastern shore.  The organization receives no regular governmental monetary support and depends solely on donations to fund their operations.  

Smith Point Sea Rescue does not charge for its services and can be reached on VHF channel 16 or by calling 911.  Rescue 1 is based in Reedville, Rescue 2 on Lodge Creek near Callao, and Rescue 3 at Smith Point. 

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