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Maryland State Police News Release

State Police Helicopter Hoists Stranded Mariner

(BALTIMORE, MD) – At about 1:30 p.m. yesterday, the Maryland State Police (MSP) duty officer, stationed within the Operations Control Center (OOC) in Baltimore received a request for assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard to hoist a mariner who ran aground in a small pleasure craft.

The mariner of an approximate 21-foot center console pleasure boat ran aground on a sand bar. The mariner tried to push the boat off of the sand bar but had gotten wet in the cold water and the possibility of hyperthermia was a concern.

Maryland State Police Trooper 6, based in Easton, was in the Baltimore area following a medevac flight and was directed to reposition to the Baltimore Section located at Martin State Airport to refuel and to standby for further tasking. Trooper 6 was directed to launch and arrived on scene within nine minutes. Trooper 6 located the pleasure craft and remained overhead while the OOC duty officer was in direct communication with the victim on his cell phone. After exhausting other possibilities for recovery of the victim, the decision was made to hoist the victim via communications coordination with the crew of Trooper 6 and the OOC duty officer.

While the OOC duty officer relayed critical safety information for the hoist to the victim, the pilots maneuvered the AW139 helicopter into position above the victim at approximately 90 feet. Trooper 6 performed the 90-foot hoist extraction of the victim using the rescue basket with the assistance of an officer from the Natural Resources Police.  When the patient was secured inside the aircraft, Trooper 6 confirmed the patient was not injured or in need of medical care and then transported the patient to Martin State Airport. The mariner was later reunited with his family.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment.  The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative efforts of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies and our partners at the United States Coast Guard.

CONTACT:    Lieutenant Nathan Wheelock, Commander, Helicopter Field Operations, 410-238-5804


Lance Wood, Deputy Director of Aviation, 410-238-5802

(file photo)