GLOUCESTER (CBS) – A 13-year-old boy was rescued by the Coast Guard on Saturday. The teen was on a rock off the coast of Gloucester taking pictures of the waves generated by Hurricane Dorian when he slipped and fell into the water.
The view of the Atlantic is spectacular here at Rafe’s Chasm, but this past Saturday it was the scene of a life or death drama. The boy had fallen into rough surf and nobody could get to him.
That’s when Coast Guardsman Michael Palelli and his crew jumped into action, deploying one of their rescue boats.
“He was swimming away from the rocks as he was getting pushed towards them,” Palelli said. “He was approximately 100 yards off the cliff face. As soon as he saw us he was swimming to the boat.”
They got close enough to extend a boat hook that he could grab onto and fished him out.
On Monday, people came to the scene and reflected on the successful rescue.
“The story was he was taking pictures of the waves,” said Mark Salwasser of Gloucester. “That’s when we had the hurricane kicking up big waves. We had really big waves for a couple of days so I don’t know if he got washed off or fell in.”
On Sunday, the young man and his dad stopped by to thank rescuers. The drama brings one of those crewmembers to tears
“He’s only a year and a half older than my son. So I think for me and the guys it was very personal. And every rescue for us in the Coast Guard is very personal. We try to do everything we can and we never want to lose anybody,” Palelli said.
“When I came back I had to take a walk to relax a little bit because it was that serious to me.”