DUXBURY, Mass. - Scary moments for a man in Duxbury Sunday after he was thrown from his boat into the water, while the engine was still running. Rescue crews were quickly deployed to stop the runaway boat, which was driving in circles at high speeds with no one on board.
That man was uninjured despite being shaken up. Boston 25 News learned that he was actually able to save himself as the boat's propeller circled around him.
Dash cam video, taken by response crews, showed a center console doing donuts at a high speed, with no one on board.
"The boat was going in circles very fast and the harbormaster had already tried to stop it by throwing a buoy in front of it attached to a line, and that didn't work," said Ethan Maass, the owner of Sea Tow South Shore.
Maass' towing company responded to the scene, eventually jamming the propeller with a rope. He says the driver, a Duxbury man, had been thrown overboard after taking a sharp turn trying to avoid a buoy.
"He went right into the water and he told me that the boat came around and headed straight toward him, but he was lucky to be not hit by the boat," Maass said. "And he just started swimming."
The man was able to swim a few hundred yards to the shore where he called 911. A close call that Maas says only happens once or twice a year in Massachusetts waters.
"He's very lucky," Maass said. "He knows that he's lucky, and he's glad to be alive.
"Once you're thrown in the water and the boat is still running, the boat can hit you with the hull. The propeller can hit you and injure you that way, and there have been many fatalities throughout the country where people have been ejected and then hit by their own boat."
The man apparently did not have a kill switch on when he was thrown from the boat.
"He said he looked behind him and looked ahead and there was a buoy straight ahead of him," Maass said. "And he jerked the wheel to the side, and then the boat veered to the right and threw him out of the boat to the left."
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