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Smith Point Sea Rescue Selected for 2023 Northumberland Distinguished Citizen Award

Smith Point Sea Rescue Volunteers pose for a photo during the 2022 NAPS Creek Cleanup of Cockrell's Creek

The NAPS Board of Directors has selected Smith Point Sea Rescue to receive the 2023 Northumberland Distinguished Citizen Award. The formal presentation will take place at the NAPS Annual Fall Social on Sunday, October 29 at the Tavern Meeting Building in Heathsville, VA, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Smith Point Sea Rescue, Inc. was officially organized in 1974 as an all volunteer sea rescue service. Its members comprise the last remaining Volunteer Sea Rescue unit on the Chesapeake Bay.

Smith Point Sea Rescue had its origin in the heart and mind of Dr. Robert E. Beatley and his wife, Vera. The desire to form this squad followed the successful rescue of a father and two young children. This threesome had spent a chilly November night hanging onto the bow of a sunken boat in the bay near Reedville. In the fall of 1973, Dr. Beatley’s dream came true. Smith Point Sea Rescue was born.

Members share duties year round, 24 hours a day to maintain equipment, conduct training, and respond to search and rescue missions. Smith Point Sea Rescue covers the middle Chesapeake Bay between Potomac River and the Rappahannock River and the Potomac River from Ragged Point to the Bay. All members are volunteers.

Smith Point Sea Rescue does not charge for rescue services and receives no regular monetary support from any state or governmental agency. Funds are derived from donations and fund raising events such as the Spring Oyster Roast and the annual fall mail solicitation. Smith Point Sea Rescue has a tax-exempt status [501 (c)3] from the Internal Revenue Service. To donate, please visit

Smith Point Sea Rescue is pleased to help boaters in their time of need. It monitors VHF Channel 16. Sea Rescue may also be reached through the Northumberland Sheriff’s office at 804-580-5221 or 911.

The Northumberland Distinguished Citizen Award is presented by NAPS to honor an individual, team, organization, or business that profoundly contributes to our community. For a list of past awardees, visit


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