FALMOUTH (CBS) — Two Barnstable County Sheriff deputies are being cited with saving two exhausted swimmers off Old Silver Beach in Falmouth.
According to officials, Lydya Stone was swimming when she got caught in a rip current and yelled for help. Christopher Byrne, a man on the beach who happens to be a dispatcher for Boston Police, tried to rescue her but got stuck in the rip current himself.
“I think she just ran out of steam when she was trying to get back in. And she couldn’t,” said Byrne.
Meanwhile, his wife was calling 911.
It took Lt. John Doherty and Sgt. Peter Benson about two minutes to get to the swimmers through choppy waters. Their patrol boat had been in the area to help send off the Mass Maritime ship TS Kennedy.
Byrne continued, “She had her hands on my shoulders. We started to move alongside, not into the current but away from it. But it just pushed out us.”
“Seeing the people on the beach, they just kept getting farther away.”
When they arrived, a boater had already managed to get a life jacket to Stone.
Both Stone and Bryne clung to the side of that boat because they were so exhausted, officials said.
The patrol boat was able to pull the swimmers to safety with life rings.
Both swimmers were about 100 yards offshore when they rescued.
Stone was taken to a hospital for observation and Bryne refused medical attention.
Officials said this should be a lesson to not swim alone or with stormy weather in the forecast.
“The weather can change very quickly particularly in Buzzards Bay. It’s kind of notorious for that, Doherty said. “Mother Nature is a lot bigger than we are.”