Coast Guard locates overdue boater in Chesapeake Bay

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard rescued a man aboard a disabled 21-foot recreational boat approximately three miles northeast of Thomas Point Park in the Chesapeake Bay, Wednesday.

Rescued was Gary Anderson, 30, of Virginia Beach, Va.

Anderson’s friend contacted Coast Guard Sector Baltimore watchstanders at 10 p.m., Tuesday, reporting that Anderson did not report to work. In a phone conversation between Anderson and his friend earlier that day, Anderson indicated he was going fishing.

Sector Baltimore watchstanders contacted Anderson’s cellular phone provider to try and triangulate his position and was able to determine that the last known call was at 7:56 a.m., Tuesday, and his approximate position was five miles from Thomas Point Shoal Light.

A rescue crew deployed a 41-foot Utility Boat from Coast Guard Station Annapolis, Md., and searched the western shoreline from Sandy Point to the South River. Additionally, crews from the Maryland Natural Resources Police and a HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., launched and began searching for Anderson.

While enroute to conduct a search of the eastern shoreline, the rescue boatcrew located Anderson at 4 a.m., Wednesday, in his disabled boat approximately five miles south of the Bay Bridge. Anderson’s boat became disabled earlier and had been adrift for nearly 20 hours.

The boatcrew took Anderson aboard and transported him to Station Annapolis where he declined emergency medical services and was later met by his wife.

“If you are going to boat this time of year, it’s important to know that conditions are inherently more dangerous and you should take extra precautions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Potter, a search and rescue coordinator at Sector Baltimore. “In this case, he was very fortunate considering the amount of time he spent adrift and without reliable communications.”

The Coast Guard urges mariners to outfit their boat with a functioning marine-band radio. Using channel 16 is the most reliable way to communicate distress in the event of an emergency on the water.

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One Comment

  1. Good to see that he’s ok. Everyone should have a marine-band radio aboard so they can radio for help when in trouble.