Coast Guard Rescues Boater Off Smith Island - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Coast Guard Rescues Boater Off Smith Island

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SALISBURY, Md.- On Thursday morning, the Coast Guard hoisted a man and his two dogs to safety after his boat became distressed two miles south of Smith Island. 

The Coast Guard said in a released statement that Sector Maryland watchstanders received a distress call at around 11 p.m. from a recreational boater reporting that his 26-foot sailing vessel had become disabled due to weather conditions near Smith Island.

That man was Florida native Jeff Davis.

 According to the release, a Station Crisfield 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew was launched along with an Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew to assist Davis. 

A Maryland State Police helicopter aircrew also arrived to assist and visually confirmed his location.

After enduring severe weather conditions that caused his boat to run aground, Davis was hoisted along with his two dogs up to the helicopter and flown to Salisbury Regional Airport with no reported injuries.

Davis, who has over a decade of sailing experience, and four years experience in the Coast Guard himself, says the weather started to take a turn for the worst around Wednesday night.

"I knew the storm was coming but I thought I could outrun it to Norfolk before it got here. The storm came a little faster than I had expected," he said. 

Davis says he tried to anchor his boat during the severe weather, but the anchor may have broken. 

Davis says he was unsure whether or not he would make it, but the Coast Guard responded quickly, and he and his two huskies were brought to safety Thursday morning. 

After arriving at Salisbury Regional Airport by the Coast Guard, Davis was welcomed by men and women of Bay Land Aviation, a company that provides numerous services at the airport. 

Davis says he only had time to grab a few items as his boat filled with water, like his phone, a few dollars, and his two dogs.

Realizing this, those working at Bay Land Aviation quickly sprung into action. Some workers brought Davis food, others clothes, shoes, even food for his two huskies.

"I lost my house, everything I own is on the sailboat, and these guys just opened their doors and helped me out," he said. "Unbelievable, the people of Maryland are friendlier than I thought."

Davis says he's not sure when he will make it back out to his boat to inspect the damage.

In the meantime, Bay Land Aviation's owner Pat Nelms has paid for a four-night stay for Davis at a local hotel in Salisbury until he gets back on his feet. 

 

 

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