Coast Guard rescues 1 in Potomac River

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard rescued a man from a grounded boat near Hull Creek in the Potomac River Monday.

Rescued was Tom Neal, 57.

Smith Point Sea Rescue contacted Sector Baltimore watchstanders and reported that a 20-foot pontoon boat had run aground. The watchstanders contacted Neal and he explained that he had fallen into the water but was currently aboard his grounded boat and very cold.

A Station St. Inigoes rescue boat crew launched and arrived on scene at approximately 11:30 p.m. They removed Neal from his boat and transported him to the station where he was met by emergency medical personnel and later picked up by his wife.

There were no reports of injuries.

“It is important to be familiar with the water and have life jackets and a marine-band radio on board your vessel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class George Ramirez, a coxswain at Station St. Inigoes. “The cell phone’s poor reception hampered communications and made it more difficult to locate the grounded vessel. Having a marine-band radio onboard could have helped us locate the vessel faster.”

The Coast Guard urges mariners to always wear their life jackets while on the water. Mariners should also equip their vessel with a marine-band radio and carry signaling devices on board their vessel such as flares and an emergency position indicating radio beacon.

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