CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — A body was recovered Wednesday afternoon after divers searched the Charles River near the BU Bridge for a man missing in the water.
Massachusetts State Police said their Marine Unit received a call from someone who reported seeing a person struggling to stay afloat in the water just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.
About 10-12 divers had focused their search near the railroad tracks. Visibility was low, according to Boston Deputy Fire Chief Mike Doherty.
The man was found in 10-12 feet of water. State Police said the victim was 41 years old and believed to be homeless. Foul play is not suspected.
These 2 good samaritans were the first in the water. They tried to help the man by borrowing this boat & getting into the water as fast as possible. By the time they got to him, he was under water. Despite their heroic efforts— they tell us they can’t help but feel helpless. @wbz pic.twitter.com/DVUIBQwQOR
— Lisa Gresci (@Lisa_Gresci) July 28, 2021
Two people tried to help the man before first responders arrived, but they told WBZ-TV by the time they got to him, he was below the surface.
“So after trying to call back and forth to him a couple of times and that he was being unresponsive, we realized something was up. The guy behind us that was on his bike had a phone and called 911,” a woman explained.
The biker said they eventually got a tied-up boat loose and used their hands to row toward the man in the water. “The hope was that we would be able to provide something stable for the swimmer, in fact, the rope which was on one side would have been very handy,” he explained.
When they got out there, they could no longer see the swimmer.
It’s unclear what the man was doing in the water. The good Samaritans said it was unusual to see a person in the water in that area.
“It was so odd to see, I’ve never seen somebody in the Charles before and I didn’t know how deep it was,” the woman said. “[I’m] upset with myself for not figuring out what was going on sooner. But I just didn’t realize what was going on and then didn’t think fast enough so I feel really bad about that.
Doherty said the two people were helpful because “they were able to give us a location as far as where we could start our search.”
“At first you hope to save somebody but then after a while you know you’re there for recovery,” Doherty said.