Coast Guard, OC Paramedics Partner On Offshore Rescue

OCEAN CITY — A potentially dangerous situation miles off the resort’s coast early Monday morning had a happy ending thanks to the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and Ocean City paramedics.

At roughly 7 a.m. on Monday, watch-standers at Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region received notification from the crew aboard the sport fishing charter vessel “Moore Bills” out of Ocean City about a 60-year-old man suffering from abdominal pains. The decision was made quickly to bring the ill man ashore for medical care as the Coast Guard began to mobilize resources.

Ocean City Emergency Medical Services was alerted and two firefighter/paramedics were deployed to the Coast Guard station in downtown Ocean City. The two paramedics boarded the Coast Guard’s 47-foot motor lifeboat and the rescue vessel was launched.

Around 8:30 a.m., the Coast Guard lifeboat arrived on the scene and the two Ocean City paramedics were transferred to the “Moore Bills” to begin treatment of the sick man. The Coast Guard boat crew then escorted the sport fishing boat back to Coast Guard Station Ocean City to awaiting emergency medical technicians. The victim was then taken to Atlantic General Hospital where he was reported to be in stable condition.

“The teamwork exhibited by the Coast Guard and the Ocean City paramedics ensured the boater got the care he needed in a timely fashion,” said Commander Michael Batchelder, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region. “I am proud of what all our Maryland first-responders do day in and day out.”

For Ocean City paramedics, hopping aboard a 47-foot Coast Guard rescue boat and traveling 40 miles offshore to tend to an ill victim was all in a day’s work.

“Our guys train with the Coast Guard on a regular basis,” said Firefighter/Paramedic and Local IAFF President Ryan Whittington this week. “They do orientation training with the Coast Guard’s vessels so they know where they are supposed to be and how the vessels operate so they are prepared when situations like this arise.”

Whittington said the collaboration with the Coast Guard on Monday was just one example of the types of training and real-time exercises the resort’s paramedics do on a daily basis.

“Our guys train with multiple agencies so they’re always prepared for anything,” he said. “Situations like this one happen more than you think.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.