The Maryland Natural Resources Police and Ridge Volunteer Fire Department personnel rescued two people from a sailboat at the mouth of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay after being battered around by strong winds and high seas.
At 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Robert G. Weber, 59 and Adam J. Marshall, 33, both from Boston, Va., were sailing south in Chesapeake Bay in a 1962 28 foot Pierson sailboat. The vessel went aground on a sandbar after they mistook a lighted hazard buoy for a channel marker.
The strong wind conditions and incoming tide produced 2- to 4-foot seas in the area of the shoal that prevented them from freeing themselves. At 1:20 am, fearing for their own safety, the occupants called 911 and rescue units from the Natural Resources Police, Maryland State Police Aviation, Coast Guard, and Ridge Volunteer Fire Department responded to the area.
High winds prevented both Coast Guard and police helicopter units from reaching the boaters after multiple attempts. A 41 foot coast Guard cutter from Station St. Indigoes was unable to reach the vessel because of the sea conditions and shallow water depths.
After three attempts, an officer and two Ridge Fire Department personnel aboard an 18-foot patrol boat were able to reach the vessel and retrieve the stranded mariners.
Police stood by the vessel until 7 a.m., when the sea and weather conditions had subsided enough to allow them to safely retrieve the vessel and tow it to Point Lookout State Park.