Ad-Boat Rescues Paddleboarder During Saturday’s Sudden Storm


The “Hero of the Week” award this week goes to Karisma Alenovitz and Jack Roache, crew of the Ad-Boat, who rescued a paddleboarder as a violent thunderstorm struck with little warning around 1:15 p.m. Saturday in Rehoboth. This is what it looked like in Dewey at that time.

Photo courtesy Capt./Photographer Dave Koster on the tiki bar boat

Here’s a selfie that Alenovitz and Roache took minutes before the storm turned violent!

“We were doing our usual ad runs and out of nowhere a huge storm came in,” says Alenovitz. The sudden storm brought an angry black sky, raging wind, painful hail and visibility, she said, that was only about 10 feet. Lifeguards reported numerous umbrellas flying along the beach and one woman was injured when she got struck by one. But she later declined an ambulance ride to the hospital. Interestingly, the Rehoboth DEOS weather station only reported winds of nearly 5 m.p.h. with an 18 m.p.h. gust at 1:25 p.m.

As the Ad-Boat crew members headed for port, they noticed the man on a paddle board who appeared to be in distress waving his arms. They threw him a rope and brought him on board. He was “freezing, scared and shaking,” Alenovitz said.

“When he got on the boat, all he could say is how he thought he was going to die and how bad the rip current was,” she added. They didn’t know him. He did say his name was Michael and he is 18 years old.

Photo courtesy Richard Tananis

This was the first rescue of the season for the Ad-Boat. Ed Martin, who has owned the service since 2001, says he has a rescue every couple of years or so. They also retrieve “blown out” items like rafts, toys and beach balls and sometimes get requests for assistance.

Photo courtesy Richard Tananis

After about a 30-minute ride on the Ad-Boat, the weather cleared and Michael paddled back to shore as lifeguards watched.