Smith Point Sea Rescue editor Jim Bullard reported crews have responded to the following calls for assistance:
September 14: The Northumberland County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) received a 911 call from the captain of a 30’ Sailboat who reported that overnight his anchor had dragged, and he was now hard aground in Mill Creek (off Ingram Bay). After talking with the captain, it was agreed to wait until high tide at 3:00pm before attempting a rescue. Rescue 1 with a crew of three, and shallow water skiff Rescue A with a crew of two were dispatched from the Sea Rescue boathouse in Reedville. Working together the two crews were able to carry a line to the sailboat that was on the shoreline (see photo above). Rescue 1 was then able to spin the sailboat around and pull it into deep water. The rudder was damaged so Rescue 1 towed the sailboat to a nearby dock for repairs. Time on call, 1.5 hours
September 15: At 5:00pm a boater reported that there was an unoccupied 21’ Bayliner adrift near the Smith Point Light. Rescue 1 with a crew of six located the vessel that appeared to have been anchored and abandoned in very poor condition, full of trash and with no engine. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Virginia Marine Police also arrived on scene. It was agreed the vessel would be left in place until authorities could investigate the ownership. Time on call, 2 hours
September 16: At 5:30pm the captain of a 46’ Post Cruiser reported that he was hard aground near Ragged Point (Coles Point) on the Potomac River. Rescue 2 with a crew of four was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and was able with great effort to free the large vessel. As darkness fell the captain discovered his electrical system had failed leaving him with no night running lights. Rescue 2 alerted the USCG that it was escorting an unlighted vessel down the Potomac to its berth in Smith Creek on the Maryland shoreline. Time on call, 5 hours
September 22: At 8am the Northumberland County Sherrif’s Office (NCSO) asked Sea Rescue for assistance in locating a 95-year-old woman who was missing in the Buzzard’s Point area. Rescue 1 and Rescue A were dispatched from Reedville and searched the local shorelines. Thankfully, the lady was located ashore. Time on call, 2 hours
September 24: At 3:20pm the captain of a 30’ sailboat reported that his transmission had failed and that he was dead in the water near the White Point Marina off the Yeocomico River. Rescue 2 with a crew of three responded from Olverson’s Marina and towed the sailboat to the owner’s dock. Time on call, 2 hours
October 2: At 9:50am the wife of a fisherman called to report her husband needed assistance in Taskmaster Creek. Rescue 1 with a crew of three, and shallow water Rescue A with a crew of 3 arrived and found the 21’ Trophy center console badly tangled in a fish net. The crew was able to clear the net from the propeller, but the engine was damaged, so the boat was towed to Shell Landing where the captain had a trailer. Time on call, 1.5 hours
October 2: At 4:00pm The captain of a 29’ Ericson sailboat called to report he was hard aground near Buoy #8 in the Great Wicomico River. Rescue 1 with a crew of six responded and was able to tow the sailboat into deep water. The captain was then able to motor to his dock on Cockrell Creek. Time on call, 1 hour
October 30: At 10:30pm the NCSO received a 911 call from a boater who reported he was out of fuel in the Potomac River off Sandy Point. Rescue 2 was dispatched with a crew of 5 from Olverson’s Marina and began a search using both radar and the new Flir night vision system. Calls to the captain were unanswered and after three hours the search was abandoned. No further calls were received that night or the following day. It is assumed the boat was rescued by a good samaritan. Time on call, 3 hours
November 1: At 3:04pm the captain of a 32’ Ericson sailboat called 911 an reported his engine had failed in the Bay off Taskmaster Creek. Rescue 1 with a crew of four responded from Reedville and towed the sailboat to a marina on Cockrell Creek. Time on call, 2 hours
November 4: At 9:00am the NCSO received a call that a boat had floated off a lift in Bridge Creek off the Little Wicomico River. A Sea Rescue member who lives nearby used his personal boat to retrieve the vessel and return it to the owner’s dock. Time on call, 1 hour
November 4: At 9:30am a waterfront resident reported his 25’ fishing boat had floated off his boatlift during the king tide. The boat was retrieved but damaged and was now inoperable. Rescue 2 was dispatched from Olverson’s Marina and located the boat on the Glebe Creek off the Coan River and towed it to Lewisetta Marina for repairs. Time on call, 3 hours
December 1: At 9:50am the captain of a 30’ fishing boat called 911 to report he was hard aground near Bamboo Island in the Little Wicomico River. He found bottom at full plane so was now in very shallow water. Rescue 3 was dispatched from Smith Point Marina with a crew of three but was unable to get within several hundred feet of the vessel. A commercial waterman in a very shallow skiff volunteered to take a line into the boat. After an hour of pulling the vessel was freed and returned home on their own power. Time on call, 2 hours
December 1: At 1:20pm the captain of a 22’ Grady White reported he had spun his prop near Thicket Point in the mouth of the Yeocomico River. Rescue 2 with a crew of four responded from Olverson’s Marina and towed the vessel to the owner’s dock near Kinsale Bridge. Time on call, 2 hours
Boat owners who store their vessels on a boat lift are encouraged to always secure their boats with two slack lines from the dock, one line to the bow and the other to the stern. If there is a high-water event, the boat can then float off the lift but will not float away.
The members of Smith Point Sea Rescue are sad to report the passing of longtime associate member Patsy Sylvia. Patsy, ever optimistic and enthusiastic, managed the annual Sea Rescue oyster roasts for many years. She will be remembered and missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
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.