News from the DNR Office of Communications

NRP Assist Boaters During Thunderstorm

Calvert County Ė On July 1, 2009, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) responded to a vessel in distress in the Chesapeake Bay, near Bloody Point Light. The occupants of the vessel became disoriented in a thunderstorm that produced wind gust near 50 miles an hour and torrential rains. The occupants of the vessel did not have a VHF radio and used their cell phone to call for assistance and help. The occupants of the vessel did not know their location, wanted assistance, and feared for their safety. The Maryland Natural Resources Police communication center personnel instructed the individuals to put on life jackets and anchor their vessel pending arrival of the Natural Resources Police. NRP personnel used local knowledge of the area and descriptions of the surroundings from the occupants of the vessel to ascertain the area where the vessel was located. NRP personnel arrived on the scene to escort the vessel safely to port.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police remind all citizens and visitors that attention to boating safety saves lives, and is of paramount importance when enjoying Marylandís waterways. While it is recommended that everyone on board wear a personal floatation device while a vessel is underway, a child under 7 years of age must wear a life jacket while underway in a vessel that is less than 21 feet in length. In addition, children under 4 years of age and/or less than 50 pounds must have a life jacket equipped with a grab strap, inflatable headrest and crotch strap. The NRP also recommends filing a float plan with a friend or relative. The plan should include the vesselís destination, how long it will remain at the destination, and what time itís expected to return. This information will assist rescue units if the vessel does not return. The Maryland Natural Resources Police emergency number is 800-628-9944.

   July 2, 2009

Contact: Sgt. Art Windemuth

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at