ROCKPORT, Mass. - One person is dead after a boat overturned in Rockport Sunday afternoon, according to the harbormaster.
The Coast Guard responded to a report of an overturned vessel near Straitsmouth Island at around 3 p.m.
“it was a beautiful sunny day and on shore it looked great, but it wasn’t," Rockport harbormaster Rosemary Lesch said.
Coast Guard crews responded off Rockport for a report of an overturned boat. A 47’ response boat from Station Gloucester and an MH-60 Jayhawk from Air Station Cape Cod were responding. One person was being transported to shore by Rockport harbormaster.— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) September 30, 2018
Two people fell into the water, and the harbormasters and the Coast Guard raced to help.
"It was an area you could not get into because it was so rough," Rockport harbormaster Scott Story said.
One man was clinging to the rocks on the side of Straitsmouth Island, facing the open ocean in a spot too dangerous for the harbormaster's boat to reach.
Lesch dropped off Story, her partner, on the other side of the island, who then hiked through the brush to get to the man.
"We reached him and confirmed there was another person in the water, and we went from there," Story said.
The second man was pulled from the water by Lesch and another boater but did not survive.
The first man and Story were then trapped on the island.
“We heard a helicopter and looked out on the island at Straitsmouth Island and the helicopter dropped down a basket," Pat Alto said.
Story said in the rough waters, the helicopter was the right call.
“It was easier to extricate me by helicopter than to try to get me off," Story said.
The Coast Guard airlifted the surviving boater and Story from the island.
“When the swells are coming offshore, it’s not a great place to be," Lesch said.
The men were not wearing life jackets. Officials have not released their identities but said Monday they are both in their early 50s.
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