A woman working at home saw a boat overturn in the water off the Massachusetts coast and quickly called 911, saving the lives of three fishermen.
While waiting for help, the men survived the incident Tuesday by clinging to fishing gear tied around a diesel fuel tank. They did not have life jackets on, according to the Scituate (Mass.) Police Department. They waited nearly an hour in the freezing water before police and fire units arrived.
In a video posted by the police department, the rescue team used an aerial drone to locate the men and made several attempts to pull them in using “rescue rings.” However, the sea waves and circle of diesel fuel surrounding the men, made the rescue difficult. Eventually, the fishermen were pulled out and taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated for severe hypothermia, police said.
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The rescue happened thanks to Pam Harght’s 911 call. Harght said she was on a work call in her home in Marshfield, Mass., a town about 30 miles south of Boston, when she saw the boat capsize.
“It looked like the boat was taking on water, which I guess at the time, it had actually rolled, and then I saw a dark cloud of smoke and then the boat disappeared,” Harght told CNN. “That was probably in the matter of 60 or 90 seconds.”
Scituate police said Harght was the only one to call in about the boating incident. Joe Roderick, one of the crew members, told Boston ABC TV station WCVB that the 55-foot boat sank too quickly for the crew to signal for help.
“Normally, boats will lean to one side when you’re hauling back, and this boat just kept leaning,” Roderick told WCVB. “The next thing I know, the rail – which is about 5 or 6 feet from the water – was touching the water.”
Harght said she’s grateful luck was on her and the men’s side that day.
“All of it is just sheer luck and nothing worked in their favor, except the fact that I happen to be looking out the window,” Harght told CNN.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda
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