(CRISFIELD, MD) On November 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm, Trooper 4 the MSP helicopter based in Salisbury and Trooper 3, the MSP helicopter based in Frederick, were dispatched to perform an over water search for five persons who became stranded on a small island southwest of Crisfield in the Chesapeake Bay.
The stranded persons were traveling on a 22 foot boat that became disabled due to a fuel system issue. Strong winds blew the vessel onto the beach of a small island. The victims were able to call for assistance using a cellular telephone. Due to the strong winds and shallow water, rescue boats were unable to reach the stranded persons.
The crew of Trooper 4 located the victims, while the crew of Trooper 3 prepared for hoist operations. Two crew members onboard Trooper 3 were lowered to the shore line near the vessel to assess the boaters and facilitate the hoist operation using a rescue basket. Five adults and one large dog were then hoisted to safety using the rescue basket onboard the AW-139 aircraft and transported to the Crisfield Airport. The hoist operation was complete at about 9:45 pm. None of the persons rescued required medical attention. Wind chills at the time of the incident were 37 degrees and were expected to drop during the nighttime hours, creating a hazardous situation for the stranded boaters.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970. Aviation Command missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, and law enforcement agencies.