Water Rescue Overturned Vessel
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
On Saturday January 16th the Delaware City Fire Company along with the Port Penn Fire Company, Good Will Fire Company, New Castle County EMS and Special Operations Teams were alerted for a boat that had capsized in the area of the refinery piers. As the units went responding they were advised that a hunting boat with two people on board had capsized and that a visual was being held on the people in the water by the reporting caller. TSU 15 with past Chief Poppe arrived and confirmed two people in the water by the refinery piers. Fire Boat 15 arrived and began to work on rescuing the first victim located along the base of the refinery pier. The second victim was located inside the pier in an area not accessible to the large rescue boats due. As Chief 29 (Schoeffler) arrived on scene he noted that the victim was in the water approximately 130’ offshore clinging to a pole with no PFD on in 40 degree water. Chief 29 donned a swimmer dry suit, took a victim PFD and swam to the victim. After arriving at the victim Chief Schoeffler placed the PFD on the victim who was now losing the ability to hold onto the pole. Rescue Boat 18 and Fire Boat 15 crew had secured the first victim and now directed their efforts to make the second rescue. The crews of both boats climbed onto the dock and deployed throw bags 60’ away to the second victim and Chief 29. The crews then pulled the pair to the pier where a second bag was used by the crew of Fire Boat 15 to ensure a fast and efficient recovery. The second victim was removed from the water and the crew of Fire Boat 15 began an aggressive rewarming effort while transporting to the Delaware City State Docks. The Fire Boat transferred care to awaiting EMS assets staged at the dock. One of the victims was transported to the Christiana Hospital in stable condition.