EARLEVILLE, MD – Maryland State Police Aviation Command on late Sunday afternoon rescued a man who was stranded in a tributary of the Elk River in Cecil County.
The man had to be hoisted to safety after his personal watercraft became stuck and inaccessible in a marshy area near Crystal Beach in Earleville, Maryland. Trooper 1, based near Middle River in Baltimore County, responded to conduct the water-based aerial rescue after the U.S. Coast Guard requested service shortly before 5:35 p.m. on Sunday.
According to a preliminary investigation, two personal watercrafts had entered a shallow creek near Elk River and became stuck. A tow boat accessed one of the watercrafts and pulled the rider to safety. However, neither the Coast Guard nor the Cecil County Fire Co. could reach the operator because receding tides made it impossible.
The helicopter crew located the operator, and the Leonardo AW-139’s two pilots maneuvered the helicopter nearly 70 feet above the creek. A trooper/flight paramedic lowered a rescue basket to the uninjured man, who climbed in from the watercraft and was hoisted into the aircraft. He was flown to a nearby landing zone, where Cecil County Fire Co. rescuers assisted him.
The MSPAC has served Maryland citizens since 1970 and operates a fleet of 10 AW139 helicopters from seven bases throughout the State. Each aircraft provides round-the-clock coverage to Maryland residents and visitors. The agency’s missions include medevac, law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of the missions relies heavily on the cooperative efforts of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Park Police.