|Photo/ U.S. Coast Guard|
A good Samaritan noticed an overturned sailboat and called Coast Guard Station Ocean City watchstanders at approximately 12:30 p.m. to make a report.
A boatcrew aboard a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft was launched and arrived on scene within approximately 15 minutes of the notification.
“When we first got close enough to see the sailboat, we noticed the mast raising and falling in and out of the water,” said Petty Officer 1st Class William King, the coxswain aboard the SPC. “We saw one boater trying to right the boat, but each time he tried the sail would catch the wind causing the hull to come back down on him.”
The crew first rescued one boater who had drifted from the boat and then returned to pull the second off the sailboat.
“It was a good thing for both the boaters that we were able to respond as quickly as we did,” said King. “The environmental conditions were a bit beyond the capability of the boaters, putting them in harms way. When we arrived on scene we noticed the second boater had drifted approximately 25 yards from the overturned boat. The best decision the boaters made was to wear their life jackets. Accidents such as this one happen in a split second, rarely giving boaters the time to don their life jackets. If during an accident a boater is knocked unconscious, or like in this case is separated from their boat, a life jacket greatly increases their risk of survival.”
The Coast Guard crew transferred both boaters to the Ocean Pines Marina where Ocean City Fire Department EMS checked the boaters for injuries.
No injuries were reported.