SCITUATE, Mass. — Three fishermen who clung to debris in the frigid waters off the coast of Massachusetts for nearly an hour after their boat sank survived thanks to a sharp-eyed woman on shore who was the only person to call 911.
The 55-foot Bing Bing went down so fast about a mile from shore on Tuesday afternoon that the crew didn’t have time to don survival suits or even make a distress call.
“The whole boat flipped over; I was thrown in the water,” crew member Joe Roderick told WCVB-TV from his hospital bed, where he was recovering from hypothermia and from swallowing saltwater and diesel fuel. The other two crew members also required hospitalization.
The men made small talk to keep one another alert, he said.
“A million things ran through my head,” he said. “Am I going to make it home to see my daughters?”
They were in the 42-degree water for about 45 minutes, clinging to a piece of hose, officials said.
Pam Harght was working from her home in Marshfield and saw the boat sink. She thought other people had already called 911, but it turned out she was the first, and only one, to call.
“I just called because I didn’t see anyone showing up,” Harght told The Gloucester Daily Times.
Roderick is grateful she did.
“If it wasn’t for this woman, I probably wouldn’t be here,” he said.
Harght prevented a tragedy, Scituate Town Administrator Jim Boudreau told The Patriot Ledger.
“It was very, very fortunate that person saw the boat sinking and called for help,” Boudreau said. “I feel a tragedy was averted today,” he said.