By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV

HULL (CBS) – What started out as a fun ocean race 10 days ago turned into a matter of survival for five people who thrown into the freezing water.

“Once I saw the people in the water, I just thought we had to go!,” says Janet Reddy.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Reddy and her rowing crew were taking part in Hull’s annual Snow Row on March 12. Dozens of teams competed in a grueling race in Hingham Harbor.

One crew was blow way off course by the stiff winds, then their boat capsized, sending five people into the 37-degree water.

“As we were approaching them, I could see several were panicking,” says Reddy.

“This was a huge dose of reality, ” says Lauren Chartier, one of Reddy’s crew members, “because they were near freezing, and I could see that one girl was nearly frozen.”

So Reddy’s crew began hauling in the victims, one by one. “The guy was a handful, because he was pretty big, and was clearly in trouble. He managed to swim to us, and grab the boat…then we moved everyone to one side, allowing the boat to dip, and he made it in,” says Reddy.

They got all five out of the water, and into their boat, then transferred them to a passing lobster boat.

“Then, it struck me,” says Chartier, “Let’s finish the race!”

“We were already full of adrenaline, so I told the crew, let’s row!” says Reddy.

The didn’t win the race, but they won something much bigger: they saved lives.


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