Police Rescue 'Struggling' Father and Son Who Were Found Clinging to Cooler After Their Boat Sank

·2 min read

A father and son are safe after their boat sank in Boston Harbor earlier this week.

On Wednesday around 6:35 p.m., officers assigned to the Boston Police Harbor Unit responded to a call that a boat off the coast of Graves Light was taking on water and sinking, the Boston Police Department said in a statement posted on Facebook.

At the time, the officers were out on patrol in the harbor and only "about eight minutes away," according to the police department.

When authorities approached the boat, which was named "Glory Days," they could only see the tip of the vessel above the water. And it was only when actually got closer that they "observed two men floating, holding on to a blue cooler."

The father, who is 76, was wearing a life jacket, while the son, who is in his 30s, was not, according to The Boston Globe. Their dramatic rescue was captured by a police officer's body camera.

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By the time they arrived, the father and son had already been treading water for about 10-20 minutes, the newspaper reported.

"The men reported to the officers that they were weak and were having difficulty keeping their heads above water," police said in their statement.

"They were cold, they looked very tired and weak and were struggling to keep their head above the water," said Stephen Merrick, one of the officers who rescued the pair, according to NBC Boston.

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Police said in their statement that after rescuers were able to safely pull them aboard, the men — who were out catching lobster — reported that their boat's engine got tangled in lobster lines and then died.

"They may have tangled up on some lobster traps, which killed their engines, and either the current or the wind may have pushed them to the rocks," said Officer Garret Boyle, the other officer who helped save the day, according to NBC Boston.

Both men were treated by officers and attended to by Boston EMS once they made it to dry land, police said. Their boat was lifted and taken under tow to Thompson's Island.

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Although the story had a happy ending, police say the father and son are fortunate to be alive.

"You may have eyes on them, [think that] they're safe, but they're not," Boyle said at a press conference, according to CBS Boston. "It's very quick. You could even be looking at them and … they drop right under and we could never get them again. Scary."