Boat­ing ac­ci­dent vic­tim says ‘thanks’

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Front Page - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­

GRASONVILLE — Au­gust 7, 2017, is not a day Jim Walsh of Cape St. Claire likes to re­mem­ber. He was out in his boat on the Ch­ester River with only his 6-yearold grand­son Carter with him, al­most di­rectly be­hind the Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press at Kent Nar­rows, a place called Muddy Creek.

Walsh said, “The waters were very choppy that day, and I was at­tempt­ing to turn the boat. A wave hit the boat in a man­ner that caused me to fall out into the wa­ter.”

As that hap­pened, the pro­pel­ler from the boat struck Walsh in his arm just be­low his arm pit, se­ri­ously cut­ting his arm. Walsh was bleed­ing ex­ten­sively and un­able to climb back into the boat.

While in the wa­ter, he said, “All I could think of was the safety of Carter. I didn’t care about my­self at that mo­ment.”

A call had been made that some­one had fallen out of his boat and it was re­ported to Emer­gency Ser vices. Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment is equipped with with res­cue boats and re­ceived the call to search for the vic­tim. The res­cue crew con­sisted of As­sis­tant Chief Troy Til­gh­man in com­mand on the shore­line, and crew mem­bers, Lt. Vin­cent Har­ris, boat driver Jeff An­thony, and fire­fight­ers Marc Sar­tain, Michael Bal­soma and Alex Cole.

When the crew found Walsh, Cole went in to the wa­ter to res­cue him, bring­ing Walsh to the GFVD res­cue boat for emer­gency treat­ment. Cole also re­turned to Walsh’s boat to turn the en­gine off and re­as­sure Carter that ev­ery­thing would be all right with his grand­fa­ther, then 60.

Walsh had to be air­lifted to University of Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more to sta­bi­lize his se­vere cut.

“The peo­ple at Shock Trauma told me the in­jury was very se­ri­ous, and they took great care of me,” said Walsh. “I had to have re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion over the past year to get com­plete use of my arm back. I feel I’m a very lucky guy that the crew from the Grasonville Fire De­part­ment came out to save me.”

Mon­day evening, Aug. 13, Walsh came over the Bay Bridge to visit the GVFD and per­son­ally thank the mem­bers for their ser­vice to him just over a year ago. He came with his wife, Donna, grand­son Carter, who is now 7, his son, Brad, Carter’s fa­ther, Carter’s mom, Stephanie, Carter’s lit­tle brother Dean, 4, and sis­ter Blair, 1.

“I didn’t ex­pect to see the emo­tion on the faces of these guys who res­cued me. They all wanted to take their pic­ture with me! It was amaz­ing to see how they felt about help­ing me over a year ago,” Walsh said.

Asked how he was feel­ing, Walsh said, “I’m fine, but I still look­ing for one of the flip-flops I lost when I fell over­board. If any­one sees one float­ing in the wa­ter out there, it’s prob­a­bly mine!” (That state­ment was fol­lowed by laugh­ter from every­one within hear­ing.)

Dur­ing their visit, the Walsh fam­ily thought the best way to re­ally say “Thank you” was to make a per­sonal do­na­tion, writ­ing a check to the GVFD build­ing fund, to help the fire de­part­ment with their dream of even­tu­ally build­ing a new fire house to serve the com­mu­nity.

Walsh said, “I hope it helps (the do­na­tion). These folks work hard to ser ve the com­mu­nity, and I hope oth­ers will do­nate to their cause too!”


Mem­bers of the Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment are pic­tured with the fam­ily of Jim Walsh, 62, of Cape St. Claire on Mon­day evening, Aug. 13. Walsh wanted to per­son­ally thank those who res­cued him from the Ch­ester River on Aug. 5, 2017. From the left, boat crew mem­bers Michael Bal­soma, res­cue swim­mer Alex Cole, Jim’s wife, Donna, grand­son Carter, 7, Jim Walsh, crew mem­ber Mark Sar­tain, in­ci­dent com­mand of­fi­cer Troy Til­gh­man, fire­fighter Skippy Had­daway, daugh­ter-in­law Stephanie Walsh hold­ing 1-yearold daugh­ter Blair, and Walsh’s son Brad. Walsh wrote the fire de­part­ment a gen­er­ous check to­ward its goal of build­ing a new fire house, ask­ing the com­mu­nity to also add their sup­port. Crew mem­bers Jeff An­thony and Vin­cent Har­ris were not avail­able for the pic­ture.

The top 4-H rid­ers in the Se­nior 4-H English Equi­tation class at the Queen Anne’s County Fair English Show, Tues­day, Aug. 7, wait to hear their plac­ings fol­low­ing their per­for­mances. From the left, An­naliese Tut­tle, Han­nah Scott, Bre­anna Mood, Maken­zie Miller, Adri­anna Disil­ve­stro, and Jen Gannon. It was one of four English classes Maken­zie Miller won that day.

Se­nior 4-H’er Bre­anna Mood, 16, of Queenstown, rides her 6-year-old geld­ing Drum horse, “Beau,” dur­ing the 2018 Queen Anne’s County Fair English Horse Show, Tues­day, Aug. 7. Beau is a spe­cial breed draft horse, crossed be­tween a Cly­des­dale, Shire and Gypsy Van­ner in Eng­land, orig­i­nally cre­ated for the pur­pose of car­ry­ing the large mu­si­cal drums dur­ing the Queen of Eng­land’s pa­rades. Beau is so ver­sa­tile, he has even been taught suc­cess­fully to do Dres­sage rid­ing.


From the left, 4-H English Horse Show Ring Ste­ward Grace Park and Show Judge Terry Helder walk to the judge’s stand with the plac­ings of the 4-H English In­ter­me­di­ate Plea­sure class, Tues­day, Aug. 7, dur­ing the Queen Anne’s County Fair English Horse Show. There were nine en­tries in the class. The weather was very hu­mid and later that day be­came very hot, com­bin­ing to feel like it was just over 110 de­grees.

Eight In­ter­me­di­ate 4-H rid­ers are lined up, Tues­day, Au­gust 7, fol­low­ing their English Equi­tation class dur­ing the Queen Anne’s County Fair English Horse Show. They were wait­ing for their plac­ings to be an­nounced.

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