Stranded boater rescue

This photo shows a Maryland State Police AW-139 helicopter, the type of aircraft that was used by an MSP helicopter crew on Saturday night to rescue a boater who was stranded after running aground in the Susquehanna Flats in the Cecil County portion of the Susquehanna River.

CECIL COUNTY — A Maryland State Police helicopter crew rescued a stranded boater who had run aground in shallow water on the Susquehanna Flats in the Cecil County portion of the Susquehanna River on Saturday, according to agency officials.

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched MSP Helicopter Trooper 1 to the scene shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday, police said. The U.S. Coast Guard had vessels in the area of the Susquehanna Flats, but the boats were unable to reach the stranded boater, police added.

After flying to the scene from Martin State Airport in Baltimore County, the helicopter crew contacted the stranded boater, who then fired a flare into the air — which helped the crew locate the stranded boater, police reported.

“The vessel was confirmed to be stuck aground in the middle of the flats and was inaccessible by ground or marine units,” an MSP spokesperson outlined.

The pilots maneuvered the AW-139 helicopter into a steady, hover position about 80 feet above the stranded vessel, police said. At that point, police added, a trooper/rescue technician was lowered to the vessel and secured the victim into a Screamer Suit, which is designed to be put on a victim easily and quickly and holds the person who needs help securely during a hoisting-rescue operation.

Then the crew hoisted the victim and the trooper/rescue technician to the helicopter, according to police. After the victim was secured inside the aircraft, a Trooper 1 medical crew verified that the patient had not suffered any injuries, police reported.

The crew then flew the patient to a predetermined location, where that person was reunited with family, police said.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served in this state since 1970, according to the MSP spokesperson.

“It operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac (flights to hospitals), law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard,” the spokesperson explained.

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