Pair makes it to shore after boat capsizes near Quonochontaug Breachway Sunday; officials warn of high surf

Pair makes it to shore after boat capsizes near Quonochontaug Breachway Sunday; officials warn of high surf

The Westerly Sun

CHARLESTOWN — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental is investigating after a boat capsized near the Quonochontaug Breachway on Sunday, leading to a rescue response that involved several local fire and rescue agencies.

Police and members of the Charlestown Ambulance-Rescue Service, assisted by rescue-response units from the Dunn’s Corners and Misquamicut fire departments, were called to the breachway to investigate reports of two people who were in distress after their boat, which was described as a “small vessel,” overturned near the breachway around 4:30 p.m.

According to police, fire and rescue officials, Dunn’s Corners and Misquamicut firefighters were later canceled when Charlestown police arrived and determined the victims had made it to shore safely.

Patrick McMahon, chief of the Charlestown Ambulance-Rescue Service, confirmed Monday that both were then evaluated for hypothermia and other possible injuries at the scene, but declined further assistance. No serious injuries were reported.

Officials did not release the names of those involved. The case has been referred to the state Department of Environmental Management for investigation, and further details were not released.

The incident was one of four along the Rhode Island shoreline over the past 48 hours, officials said. Incidents were also reported in Narragansett, where five people were injured when they were knocked off a jetty, and in East Matunuck, where officials said a distressed swimmer was pulled from the water Sunday afternoon.

McMahon said Monday that as tropical storm conditions impact the region over the next several days, officials are urging residents to stay safe and avoid walking along jetties or other potentially dangerous areas that would be impacted by high surf.

“The message we hope people receive is to keep a safe distance, especially with the storm coming,” McMahon said. “You can’t always predict the impact of oncoming waves.”


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