DUXBURY (CBS) — Two sailors and a would-be rescuer had to be pulled to safety by after they were spotted struggling in the choppy surf off Massasoit Road Monday morning.

Duxbury Fire Captain Rob Reardon said it all started when two brothers, both summer residents of Duxbury, headed out to their sailboat in a dinghy.

“One jumped out to swim over,” Capt. Reardon told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones. “When he did, the dinghy overturned, so both of them now were in the water with these waves and the wind, and they were struggling.”

He said the two were not wearing their personal flotation devices, or PFDs.

As witnesses on shore called 911, Spritely Roche, an MIT professor and recreational swimmer, jumped into the water in response to all the commotion–but he ran out of steam before he reached the brothers.

“I got about halfway out, I guess,” Roche said. “It’s not that far, but it is in terms of how much energy it takes to get there.”

The two brothers, meantime, were holding onto an anchored boat.

“It’s also a bit dangerous with the movement of the boat and the movement of the water,” said Roche. “Easy to bang your head while you’re holding on.”

The Duxbury Fire Department and the harbormaster responded, pulling the sailors aboard the harbormaster’s boat.

Roche said he grabbed a line and was dragged to shore.

“The moral of the story is, we were lucky, but you need to have PFD’s on,” said Capt. Reardon.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

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