MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
A boater was fortunate an employee of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was on the job. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with temperatures above average for late November in the 60’s. Just after 1130 am, November 28th, the Fire/EMS Department water rescue units were dispatched to a man stuck in the mud and water at Magruders Ferry Landing at 18299 Magruders Ferry Road in Brandywine. The initial call reported that there was person stuck in the mud and water and required assistance.
DNR Wildlife Response Manager Peter Bendel had walked down to the pier at Magruders Ferry while doing his rounds at the park. He noticed a boat about 200 yards south of the ramp with no anchor line or bowline to the shore. He thought this was strange and watched the boat for a couple minutes and then noticed a man’s hand reach over the side of the boat (the boat was between the man and the ramp so he couldn’t see the man). Bendel and the victim were able to verbally communicate and it was determined that the lone fisherman was stuck in knee-deep mud and higher water.
Bendel called 911 and provided his exact location to call takers at Public Safety Communications and advised them of the situation. While fire/EMS water rescue units were responding, Bendel donned his waders and walked through the marsh to where he could see the man and make visual as well as verbal contact. This position was critical to ensuring the safety of the man in the mud.
The ambulance from the Baden Fire/EMS Station was the first to arrive and their personnel joined Bendel. The ambulance crew assisted in directing the Department’s Volunteer Marine Divisions airboat in to assist in rescuing the victim. Within minutes of arrival the victim was removed from the mud and water and taken ashore where medics treated the man for exposure and exhaustion.
The victim, a male in his 70’s, had reportedly been in the water for over an hour and was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation. Due to Mr. Bendel’s competence in knowing that boats don’t generally just float without an anchor line and his quick response to call 911, as well as obtaining constant visual and verbal contact with the victim, the Fire/EMS Department was able to quickly remove the victim from the mud and cold water.