NAHANT (CBS) – Two divers were rushed to the hospital after an incident off the coast of Nahant Saturday afternoon.
The two men were free diving for lobsters off of 40 Steps beach when one of them ran into trouble with air just before 5 p.m., authorities told WBZ-TV.
A boater saw the men and managed to get one into his boat while keeping the other one from drowning.
“An unconscious diver who was tied alongside his boat and he had another diver exhausted inside his boat,” Nahant Harbormaster Rob Tibbo said of the scene on the water.
“One was having trouble with his snorkel, so he was trying to switch back to his air tank,” Tibbo told WBZ. “Then he ran out of air, he switched to snorkel but was in distress. The other diver tried to switch him over but couldn’t. There was a lot of waves out there, it was rough.”
Tibbo and his men got both divers into their boat and to land where more first responders were ready.
“This police cruiser came flying down,” said witness Glenn Sanphy who was nearby.
With aspirations of becoming a police officer, the 13-year old keeps a scanner by his side. He ran down to the pier.
“They quickly off-loaded one gentleman who then they off-loaded onto the dock and they quickly started taking pulses,” Sanphy told WBZ.
First responders performed CPR on the other man.
The harbormaster said both men are in their 40’s. They were brought to Salem Hospital, but there’s no word yet on their conditions.
The police said more information about the men will come from the Essex District Attorney’s office.
Forty Steps beach is a popular access spot to the ocean. It’s well-known for diving and lobstering, but there are several rocks and rip currents. The harbormaster says every two or three years they receive a call like this.
“It’s always very traumatic,” said Tibbo.
It was a call that hit Sanphy a little harder than others he’s heard.
“It really hit close to home because I work on a lobster boat myself during the weekends,” he said. “To see something so close you don’t think it will happen.”