Above: WPD photos from last evening’s scene…
WAREHAM – According to the Wareham Police, officers were dispatched to the area of 261 Great Neck Road for a report of a loud crash and people yelling for help.
About 8:00 pm last evening, arriving officers focused on the Stony Point Dike where they could hear multiple people screaming from the water on the Cape Cod Canal side of the dike.
Officer James White jumped into the water with a life jacket and throw ring after noticing two people struggling in the water, while Officer Blaise Lalli went looking for others heard yelling somewhere off in the dark canal waters…
Officer White was able to save two people and bring them safely ashore…
… while Officer Lalli continued searching further down the dike, eventually spotting three others clinging to a channel marker buoy, holding on for dear life, obviously in distress. Officer Lalli relayed the location to a responding Wareham Natural Resources boat.
Harbormaster Garry Buckminster and Lt. Justin Harrington of the Onset Fire Department arrived by boat and were able to rescue the three others from the buoy.
At total of five were rescued… with only minor injuries.
All five had reportedly been thrown from a vessel after it struck a buoy marker.
The boat belongs to Andrew Murray of Mattapoisett. Murray was one of the survivors rescued from the buoy.
In a statement, acting Wareham Police Chief John Walcek praised Officer White, “Officer James White risked his life tonight by jumping in the ocean without hesitation, saving two lives. The individuals in distress were over a 120 feet from shore, coupled with the strong canal current, and darkness made the rescue of these two people miraculous. I am extremely proud of his bravery under adverse conditions.”
Cheif Walcek also added, “Officer Lalli was prepared to enter the water where the other cries for help were coming from until it was realized that they were clinging to [a] buoy. The cooperation and coordination between the multiple agencies involved, made this night end without any loss of life. Wareham is indeed lucky to have such dedicated public servants. Furthermore, it should be added that these rescues would not have happened if it was not for the concerned residents who called 911 and began checking the area.”
The accident is under investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
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