CHATHAM, Mass. - Tuesday’s powerful storm that spawned a tornado on Cape Cod was scary enough for people on the ground, but imagine being stuck in the middle of a harbor.
Corey Smith was working on a sailboat moored in Stage Harbor in Chatham when the storm rolled through. A tornado didn't touch down in Chatham, but Boston 25 Meteorologist Jason Brewer said winds in the town gusted above 80-miles-per-hour.
Smith is a marine services technician and was sent to do some plumbing repairs on a sailboat that was moored in the middle of the harbor. He arrived around 10:30 a.m. and took a launch to the sailboat.
“When I got out there, we still have blue skies,” Smith told Boston 25 News.
Smith said he knew a storm was coming. He was hoping to beat it, but around noon, he felt the boat start to rock back and forth. That’s when he went up to the deck.
“[I] turned around and looked towards the front of the boat, the bow, and just saw this wall of rain coming straight at me,“ Smith said. “It hit like a truck and instantly [the] water was rough.”
The seas were too rough for the launch to come and pick up Smith. He had no choice but to ride out the storm on the boat, so he hunkered down and hoped for the best.
“I tried to stay near the hatch in case anything did happen and I had to get out of there,” Smith said. “I was just braced in the doorway.”
Smith knew no one would believe what he was seeing, so he pulled out his phone and started recording.
“[There were] at least seven boats that I could count in view that capsized or sank,” Smith said.
A dozen other boats in the harbor broke free from their moorings and were being tossed around the harbor like toys.
“For the better part of an hour, we were getting hammered out there,” Smith said.
At one point, he feared he was going to be tossed overboard. He credits the sturdiness of the boat he was on with keeping him safe.
“There was a time when I could have easily stood on the side of the cabin, the side of the boat was so far over,” Smith said. “I thought it was going to go over, but it was able to right itself. Thank God I didn't end up in the water.”
Smith said it’s amazing no one was hurt, including himself.
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