Life Jacket Credited After PWC Fall

OCEAN CITY — Wearing a life jacket is being credited for potentially saving the life of a man rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard at the Inlet on Saturday.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday, Coast Guard Station Ocean City was contacted via 911 dispatch that an unidentified man had fallen off a jet ski in the Ocean City Inlet and had been separated from the vessel. The victim reported via cell phone he had fall off the personal watercraft and was not able to swim back to it.

Coast Guard Station Ocean City launched a 24-foot response boat-small crew to the scene. Once on scene, the crew located the victim about 100 yards from his jet ski. He was not injured and was wearing a life jacket, which Coast Guard officials credited for the happy outcome.

“We constantly urge people to wear their life jacket and have a communication device handy,” said Petty Office 2nd Class Michael Maffioli, who was on the rescue crew. “This is a prime example of how they can save your life. The guy said he was in the water for 30 minutes, which is a long time to have to tread water. If his life jacket was tucked under his seat and not on his body, there probably would have been a different, more tragic outcome.”

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.