Coast Guard rescues 2 in Patapsco River

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard rescued two people from a vessel taking on water in the Patapsco River near Fort Smallwood State Park, Md., Friday.

Rescued was Thomas H. Tolson, Sr., 49, from Severn, Md., and John L. Sullivan, Jr., 60, from Columbia, Md.

Coast Guard 41-foot utility boatCoast Guard Sector Baltimore watchstanders received a distress call via cell phone at 2:11 p.m., reporting that the vessel Wood Duck, a 38-foot fishing vessel, had struck an object and was taking on water.

A 41-foot Utility Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., a Maryland Natural Resources Police boatcrew, an Anne Arundel fire boatcrew, and two Maryland State Police helicopters were dispatched.

The Coast Guard crew arrived on scene at 2:28 p.m., and began dewatering the vessel. The crew placed the vessel in tow and transported Tolson and Sullivan onto the Coast Guard vessel where they were then taken to Station Curtis Bay.

“When we got on scene, the water was up to the mariners’ knees,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Busby, a coxswain at Station Curtis Bay. “Once the vessel became unsafe, we were forced to remove our crew from the boat. About 30 seconds later, water started to come over the side and the boat began to capsize. At that point, we had to remove the lines. In the end, the mariners were glad that we were able to get them back to shore safely.”

The Coast Guard urges mariners to use extreme caution when navigating waterways following heavy storms. Storms have the potential to increase the amount of debris both on and beneath the water’s surface.

There were no reports of injuries.

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