Coast Guard Assists 5 Children, 2 Adults

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – An Oxford, Md., Coast Guard crew assisted five children and two adults after they became lost and ran out of fuel on a 29-foot boat north of James Island, Md., Friday night.

Coast Guard Sector Baltimore was notified of the situation at about midnight, at which point the operator of the boat indicated that Towboat U.S. would come to their assistance. After the initial notification, the boaters turned off their VHF radio and their cell phone.

Towboat U.S. and Maryland Natural Resources Police crews were unable to locate the vessel during the night due to bad GPS coordinates from the operator’s cell phone.

The mother of one of the children called the Coast Guard at about 6:15 a.m. to report that her child on board had asthma, and requested Coast Guard assistance.

Coast Guard Sector Baltimore contacted the operator’s cell phone company and was able to determine a search area by using a line of bearing from a cell phone tower. The crew from Coast Guard Station Oxford located the people at about 9:15 a.m. and towed them to a marina on Slaughter Creek.

All seven people on board were reported to be in good condition.

The Coast Guard recommends that boaters in need of assistance keep their VHF radio on after notifying rescuers. This allows search and rescue coordinators to establish a communication schedule to stay apprised of the situation.

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