OCEAN CITY — The Coast Guard rescued two boaters in the St. Martin River around mid-day on Monday after their sailboat capsized in the choppy bay near Ocean Pines.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, a Good Samaritan noticed an overturned sailboat in the St. Martin River and notified Coast Guard Station Ocean City. A boat crew aboard a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft (SPC) was launched and responded to the area approximately 15 minutes later.
“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, who was 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 Coast Guard crew rescued one boater who had drifted about 25 yards from the overturned vessel and then returned to pull the second from the boat.
“It was a good thing for both 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 harm’s way. When we arrived on scene, we noticed the second boater had drifted approximately 25 yards from the overturned boat.”
King said both boaters were wearing life jackets, which helped prevent further danger.
“The best decision the boaters made was to wear their life jackets,” he said. “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 chance of survival.”
The Coast Guard crew transferred both boaters to the Ocean Pines Marina where Ocean City Fire Department EMS personnel were waiting. No injuries were reported.