Man who found Tsarnaev on boat doesn’t want donations for new one

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

The man who found Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat—a boat subsequently riddled with bullets during a dramatic standoff with police—doesn't want donations for a new one. Instead, the Watertown, Mass., resident would like the money to go to the marathon's victims.

"They lost limbs," David Henneberry told Boston's WCVB-TV. "I lost a boat."

Within hours of Tsarnaev's capture on Friday, several Facebook pages and online fundraisers were launched by strangers looking to raise money for Henneberry, whose 22-foot Sea Hawk pleasure cruiser was "all shot up" during the capture. Henneberry said he appreciates the gesture, but would rather have funds funneled to survivors.

"It makes me feel wonderful that people are thinking like that," Henneberry said. "[But] people lost lives and lost limbs. I'd rather [the money] go to the One Fund Boston."

[Related: Tsarnaev’s condition improves; brothers reportedly motivated by U.S. wars]

Shortly after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick lifted the citywide lockdown Friday, Henneberry went outside to smoke a cigarette when he noticed one of the straps on the tarp covering the boat was loose, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. When Henneberry investigated, he found a bleeding Tsarnaev inside the boat, the Slip Away II, and called 911.

"I got three steps up the ladder and [unrolled] the shrink wrap," Henneberry told WCVB. "I didn't expect to see anything, but I saw blood on the floor of the boat. A good amount of blood. And I said 'Wow, did I cut myself last time?' ... I was in the boat a couple of weeks ago. Then I just look over there, and there is more blood."

Henneberry then saw Tsarnaev lying on the floor next to the ship's engine block. "I couldn't see his face," Henneberry said. "I'm glad I didn't see his face. He didn't move."

Police and tactical units responded, Tsarnaev eventually surrendered and was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he's being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. The college student was charged on Monday with two federal counts of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, injure and cause widespread damage at the marathon. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Henneberry, for his part, considers himself an "incidental" hero.

"I am lucky I am alive," he said.