Barnstable County

Rainy rescue: Man saved after falling overboard miles off coast of Chappaquiddick

EDGARTOWN, Mass. — Officers battled rough seas and driving rain Monday morning as they raced to rescue a man who had fallen overboard off the coast of Chappaquiddick.

The initial distress call came from a sailing vessel called “Encore” around 11:50 a.m., according to the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO).

BCSO Lt. John Doherty along with Mashpee Police Officer Ben Tamash were patrolling the waters off Vineyard Haven and immediately went into search and recovery mode, racing towards Chappaquiddick, police say.

In addition to the pelting rain, the responding officers had to deal with foggy conditions and unruly waves.

After arriving to the scene, Lt. Doherty and Officer Tamash were able to calculate the current and plot the drift of the ocean to give them a better idea of where the man’s location would be.

At 12:49 p.m., an hour after the initial distress call went out, officers made visual contact with the sailor in the water. He was found over a mile and a half from where he fell in, according to law enforcement officials.

The man was pulled from the water and onto the safety of the BCSO patrol boat.

“These two officers should be commended for their quick thinking and fast actions in their duty to help keep a member of our Cape Cod community safe,” Sheriff James Cummings said in a social media post.

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