(Upper Marlboro, MD) – On Saturday, December 5th, just before 7:00 pm, Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 2, based at Andrews Air Force Base, was dispatched to Patuxent River Park in Prince George’s County, to hoist a kayaker who had capsized and was stuck in mud in the marsh.
The Prince George’s County Emergency Operations Center received a 911 call from a citizen who located a stranded kayaker. The caller informed the Operations Center that they were in contact with the capsized kayaker who swam to shore and was stuck in the mud in a marshy area. The Prince George’s County Fire Department requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command to locate and recue the stranded kayaker.
The helicopter crew launched and once on-scene, the crew located the kayaker in a remote marshy area near the shore, just west of Patuxent River. The aircrew directed Prince George’s County Fire Department personnel to the general location, but due to the shallow water and marshy terrain, rescuers were unable to proceed any closer. The kayaker was wet and unable to move due to the mud.
With night approaching and temperatures rapidly decreasing, the helicopter crew configured Trooper 2 for an aerial hoist operation. The pilots maneuvered the AW-139 helicopter into a steady hover position 125 feet above the victim. The Trooper/Rescue Technician with medical equipment was lowered to the scene. The Trooper/Rescue Technician secured the victim in the hoist extrication device known as a screamer suit. The Trooper/Rescue Technician and victim were hoisted up to the helicopter. Once the patient was secured in the aircraft, Trooper 2 transitioned to its medevac role and transported the patient to Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac, 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 and law enforcement agencies.