A Maryland State Police helicopter and area water rescue crews combined to locate and bring back safely a jet ski rider who spent Sunday night stranded along the Bush River in Harford County, after his watercraft developed mechanical problems.
The man, who has not been publicly identified, left the boat ramp at Flying Point Park in Edgewood around 2:45 p.m. Sunday, according to Lt. Keith McMinn, a spokesperson for the Maryland State Police Aviation Command. The man's wife called the Harford County 911 Center at 5:15 a.m. Monday after he did not come home.
The State Police helicopter was used to search along with boats from the Coast Guard, Maryland Natural Resources Police and Aberdeen Proving Ground Police Department, according to State Police. The helicopter is based at Martin State Airport in Middle River, McMinn said.
The man's van and jet ski trailer were located in the Flying Point Park parking lot. Natural Resources Police tried to find him by pinging his cell phone, but it had been left in the van, said Candy Thomson, spokesperson for the NRP.
The helicopter crew spotted the man around 8:30 a.m. Monday near the mouth of the Bush River, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay, McMinn said.
The man had told his wife he only planned to be on the water for about half an hour, McMinn said. His jet ski started suffering mechanical problems, leaving him stuck on the river. During that time, he was caught in the swift rainstorm that passed through Harford County Sunday evening.
The man was not injured, but he was "fatigued" from his ordeal, State Police said in a news release.
"During the debrief, the survivor said if he would have checked the weather, had a reliable means of communication or told someone where he was, he would have prevented the situation entirely, or have been found much sooner," according to the news release.