A runaway boat off Marshfield, Massachusetts, caused a beach closure and left two people grateful to be alive after they fell overboard on Tuesday, leaving their boat without anyone at the helm and spinning dangerously out of control.
“The boat was heading west towards the beaches which caused the beach to be closed,” Marshfield Harbor Master Michael DiMeo said.
The high-powered boat was circling about three-quarters of a mile off Marshfield. This is what Marshfield Harbor Patrol and Sea Tow had to deal with. DiMeo said it started with a call just before 10 a.m.
“From a fishing boat out of Marshfield Green Harbor he just picked up two people who were ejected from a 24-foot center console vessel,” DiMeo said.
Two men – aged 19 and 20 – were ejected from the boat, sending it into what the harbor master calls “the circle of death.” High speed tight turns spinning very fast. The throttle was pushed quite hard.
Captain Ethan Maass owns Sea Tow South Shore so he’s seen it before.
“When you are thrown from a boat, it is very likely that the boat will come back and hit you or hurt you with the propeller of the engine,” he explained.
Sea Tow dropped tow lines into the water near the fleeing boat.
“In this case, we’ve fouled the engine, slowed the boat down, got close enough that we could reach the kill switch on the ignition and turn the boat off that way,” Maass explained.
They did it with a blunder. None of the men on board were wearing life jackets. And by law, the operator should have been tied to the kill switch for the engine to stop the moment he was kicked out.
“They were extremely, extremely lucky,” DiMeo said.
The two men were not injured. They said they hit something in the water.
The investigation is still ongoing but the harbor master said there were no drugs or alcohol involved.