TOLCHESTER — An unnamed good Samaritan pulled two boaters out of the Bay near here Saturday afternoon and then assisted the Coast Guard with their safe transport to shore.
The boaters — identified as Renato Devera Angeles, 54, of Towson and Vincent Cabico Valdez, 42, of Baltimore — were airlifted subsequently to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, according to a spokesperson for the state Natural Resources Police, which is investigating the July 17 incident.
The initial report was that both men were in stable condition Saturday night, Capt. Melissa Scarborough, NRP’s adjutant to the superintendent, told the Kent County News in an email Monday.
Scarborough said the U.S. Coast Guard was first on the scene, after receiving notification via VHF channel 16 from the good Samaritan that he had rescued two men.
A 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Curtis Bay was underway patrolling and diverted to the scene, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.
Two NRP officers also responded in a boat to assist in the search, Scarborough said.
The good Samaritan helped with getting both men onto the Coast Guard vessel, whose crew administered first aid while transiting to Tolchester Marina. They were met by Kent County EMS.
One Maryland State Police helicopter landed in a nearby field adjacent to the Kent County Ag Center, where the county fair was in full swing, and a second landed near the marina.
A Shock Trauma spokesperson on Monday said Angeles and Valdez were not listed as patients.
Capt. Scarborough said the initial dispatch to NRP was at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday. The Coast Guard already had been alerted.
Angeles, Valdez and three others were aboard an 18½-foot Key West that was anchored near Hodges Bar in the Chesapeake Bay, which is between Tolchester Beach and Rock Hall, according to the NRP.
Witnesses told investigators that Valdez jumped into the water, drifted a short distance from the boat and then started to shout for help.
“They tossed life jackets and a flotation device and someone turned the engine on to try to take the boat to help,” Scarborough wrote in an email.
Jumping overboard in a rescue attempt, Angeles was injured when he was struck by the boat’s propeller.
They were unable to get Angeles and Valdez back into the boat, “so someone in the water held them up until additional help arrived,” Scarborough said.
The good Samaritan radioed for help.
“Without the proper equipment onboard, we would not have been able to assist the boaters in distress,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Valerie Foreman, coxswain of the RBS from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, said in the news release.
Foreman added, “We encourage boaters to not only have working radios onboard their vessels but to also know how to use them in case of an emergency. The use of channel 16 is a critical and efficient way of contacting the Coast Guard in times of distress.”