OCEAN CITY — The U.S. Coast Guard assisted three individuals from a damaged vessel taking on water in the Inlet at Ocean City on Saturday afternoon.
Around 2:10 p.m. on Saturday, a Good Samaritan called Coast Guard Station Ocean City via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 advising a 24-foot vessel had hit the rocks and was taking on water. Coast Guard Station Ocean City already had already launched a 24-foot special purpose craft-shallow water crew and diverted that crew to the vessel in distress.
When the Coast Guard boat arrived on scene, a Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) boat crew was already towing the distressed vessel. The Coast Guard crew took over the tow and transported the vessel and its three occupants to Sunset Marina in West Ocean City. The incident highlighted the importance of the open VHF-FM channel at times of crisis on the water.
“Channel 16 is a critical lifeline between boaters in distress and the Coast Guard,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Zackary Schultz, who was the coxswain on the rescue vessel during the incident. “Having a reliable communications device like a VHF marine radio can save your life when you need assistance.”