By Ken MacLeod


CHATHAM (CBS) – On the neighborhood playground with his daughter Chelsea Wednesday night, Corey Smith was still revisiting the day before.

“I have to pay a little more attention to the weather,” the 27-year-old father said.

He’d checked the forecast on Tuesday morning. But the sky was blue on when the marine systems technician was dropped off on a 42-foot sailboat named the ‘Goleen’ moored in Chatham’s Stone Harbor.

At 12:23 pm, however, he shot a frightening video as 85 mile per hour winds ripped through – a video that has now gone viral on social media.

“This wall of water was coming right at me,” Smith said, “and it hit the boat like a truck.”

The thunderstorm that produced tornadoes on Cape Cod rocked boats in Chatham (Image credit Corey Smith)

That ‘truck’, was the remnants of a tornadic thunderstorm cell.

“My first thought was ‘Oh boy, this is going to go bad really quickly,” Smith said.

He called the marina, but told them it was too dangerous to send the launch to rescue him. Corey feared he would soon be tossed in the water – 300 yards from shore.

“She was going over,” Smith recounted. “Water was pouring over the side of the boat into the cockpit, as waves were crashing against the side.”

But the boat stayed upright, as others broke from their moorings – slamming into each other, capsizing, or sinking. And for a moment, Smith thought the ‘Goleen’ would be among them.

Corey Smith (WBZ-TV)

“I turned around just in time to see this large fishing trawler coming right at me,” he says.

Fortunately for him, the trawler-turned-ramrod got tangled up with another boat. The whole thing was over in minutes – but seemed much longer to Corey.

“Mother Nature and the sea. Fickle mistresses, that’s for sure,” he said.

But the lady he thought of most during the ordeal, was his daughter.

“She’s gone through too much for me to not make it home to her,” Smith said.

Smith said he never wants to be thought of as undependable. So after the storm passed, he finished the plumbing repair on that boat, and jokingly hopes his employer considers that when it comes time for his next raise.

Ken MacLeod

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