Above photo: Safely back in port, Mary Huyen Ngo of Willimington shows her appreciation to Firefighter Chet Coggeshall, one of the Hyannis Firefighters who rescued both her and her husband from the waters off Squaw Island.
HYANNIS PORT – A couple from Wilmington had launched their 18 foot motorboat from Lewis Bay earlier in the day. They were fishing for squid when thick fog suddenly rolled in and darkness came upon them. They found themselves lost and drifting further and further away from port.
According to Hyannis FD Lieutenant Thomas Kenney, at about 10:30pm last evening, Barnstable Police notified them about some boaters lost and drifting in the dark dense fog off of Squaw Island.
Hyannis Fire Department launched its “big” fire boat, as police and other firefighters searched from the shoreline and local ways to water.
Rescuers were able to pinpoint the boaters’ longitude and latitude as being just west of Squaw Island. The boat was making it’s way closer to hazardous rocks and sandbars. The couple were searching for where they had launched, which at that point was about 4 miles away by boat… and in the other direction from where they were drifting.
A police officer on shore briefly spotted the boat’s lights from a nearby way to water at the end of Fifth Ave.
Rescuers now knew they were on the right track when they learned the boat had just stranded on a sandbar a short distance from shore. Hyannis Firefighters hiked about a mile and a half out onto a secluded beach.
Wearing survival suits, several firefighters waded in waste deep water out into the darkness and fog to the stranded boat, where they were able to bring the boaters safely back to shore.
The boat was secured on the beach as the couple was guided back to a heavy rescue vehicle. They were immediately evaluated and released by rescue workers, safe, sound, and in good health. The search had officially and successfully concluded at 11:58pm, about an hour and a half after it had begun.
Mary Huyen Ngo, age 60, and Peter Thoi Ngo, age 62, both told HN they were now from Wilmington MA, but they were originally from Vietnam. They both were very grateful to the Hyannis Firefighters who risked their lives in adverse boating conditions to bring them safely ashore.
Last night’s fog was unusually dense and treacherous for any vessel on the waters of Nantucket Sound.
This couple was very fortunate, the waters are still very cold and the area they were drifting in is known to be rocky and treacherous under the best of conditions. So much so, firefighters decided to send their big fire boat back to port once they learned the lost boat was drifting in those particular waters.
The following video is in reverse sequence. It shows Mary Ngo thanking Firefighter Coggeshall… it then works backwards showing the dense fog conditions during the rescue efforts…
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P.S. – Today’s HyTown Vignette is brought to you by the Grateful Dead… [Press play…]