WAREHAM (CBS) – The operator of a boat that crashed into a buoy causing five people to fall overboard into Buzzards Bay is a Massachusetts fire chief.
Wareham Police confirmed that Mattapoisett Fire Chief Andrew Murray was operating the vessel Monday around 8 p.m. when the crash happened. A resident along the Cape Cod Canal called 911 to report hearing a loud bang and screams for help.
“As soon as I got out there and got out of my car and I heard people screaming for their lives I put it out right on the air that I had people on the water,” Wareham Police Officer Blaise Lalli said.
Murray and four others were thrown from the boat and into the water. Three of the people were clinging to the buoy but two others were still in the water.
Officer James White didn’t waste any time.
“It’s just so dark out there, there’s no light at all,” White said. “I could just see two heads in the water I could hear them screaming help, help, help. So I started swimming to them. We had a life preserver and stuff in it, they kind of grabbed hold of it and I just started towing them in.”
Mattapoisett town officials are delighted everyone is OK as investigators figure out how this happened.
“I’ve been in communication with our Police Chief who’s actually traveling right now,” Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Gagne said. “We’ve talked a few times and we’re talking with the folks at the Wareham Police Department to get the reports and then do a careful review to find out what the details are.”
The town manager says Chief Murray took a personal day off from work Tuesday but is expected back to work soon. Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating the crash.