State of Delaware

Department of Safety and Homeland Security


Superintendent Thomas F. Mac Leish


Contact: Cpl/1 Jeff Whitmarsh - Public Information Office

DSP News Release: Sunday, May 24, 2009- "Trooper 2" Performs Open Water Rescue off Dewey Beach

Location of Incident: Water off of Dewey Beach, Dewey Beach, Delaware, Sussex County

Date and Time of Occurrence: Sunday, May 24, 2009, at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Resume: At approximately 6:00 p.m. this evening, "Trooper 2," the State Police helicopter based out of Georgetown Aviation, was called by Station 86 Rehoboth Beach to assist with the report of two subjects stranded in open water.

The helicopter responded, and while enroute, they learned that an adult male and female were initially in a small raft off of the Dewey Beach and had fallen from the raft into the water. These subjects were not wearing flotation devices and were struggling to stay afloat. Trooper 2 selected a landing zone in Dewey Beach and set down to configure the aircraft with a rescue winch and cable.

The helicopter took off and located both subjects approximately 3/4 miles from shore. The winch was lowered and the two subjects were both able to cling to the rescue line. Trooper 2's pilot then navigated the aircraft toward shore. Just prior to making it to land, the female was unable to hold on and fell back into the water. While the male was being pulled to safety, a good samaritan dove into the water, swam to, and rescued the female.

Once on shore, the two subjects were ultimately met by rescue personnel from Station 86, Rehoboth PD and Sussex County Paramedics. The pair are believed to be uninjured.

The Delaware State Police does not have the identities of these two subjects. Inquires pertaining to their names and medical status should be directed to Station 86 or the Sussex County Paramedics.