CAPE CHARLES -- Stories of heroism are emerging following the tornado that ripped through an Eastern Shore campground killing a couple from New Jersey and injuring dozens more.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area around Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort about the time it struck - around 8:30 a.m. on July 24.
The Coast Guardsmen of Station Cape Charles were just beginning their physical training when several members heard their phones go off in unison.
The tornado had ripped through the rows of trailers and tents. It was over as quickly as it started, but not before it left a wake of destruction, upturning campers and tents.
New Jersey couple killed when tornado strikes Eastern Shore campground
“Once I knew the storm passed, I made sure my family was safe, and I knew where I had to go,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Schadt as he headed out the door of his home responding in his private vehicle.
Senior Chief Petty Officer David Stone and Petty Officer 1st Class Blake Marino responded as well. Both arrived shortly behind Schadt who was already in a fire pit used as a makeshift trauma staging area. He was helping to stabilize a compound fracture of a leg and tending to another patient with severe bruising on his back.
"Treating them for shock was most important and I guess I just relied on my training,” Schadt said.
The crewmembers of Station Cape Charles are credited with improving the condition of several patients, reuniting two children with their parents, and organizing transportation to shelters.
"Cape Charles is a small town, and we are their small boat station. We are all family, and we look after each other," Marino said.