PLYMOUTH - It may be called "Comfort" but this trip was anything but that for three sailors who got in trouble off the coast of Plymouth around 7:30 a.m. on their 41-foot sailboat sending in a mayday call.
"That's all rocks, the whole area. I've lived here for 60 years and I know where the rocks are, they didn't," said retired Plymouth Fire Chief Michael Roy. He lives two doors down and saw the sailboat, which had been anchored offshore, break free being pushed to the beach by strong winds and finally grounding 75 to 100 feet from the shoreline. "The boat got tossed pretty good. When the Coast Guard arrived, they couldn't get in tight enough and asked if we could get them off."
The retired chief ran the underwater recovery unit for 20 years at the Plymouth Fire Department. He grabbed his own survival suit and with Plymouth firefighters started the rescue.
"They went out there with life jackets and tubes and started a relay one at a time to get them to the beach," Roy said.
A man and woman in their sixties and another sailor in his seventies were fortunate to have experienced first responders so close by. They apparently anchored offshore when they had engine trouble as they attempted to sail from Boston to Florida.
"The people on board did not have survival suits," said Roy. "They were cold, but their exposure was minimal. They were only in the water for a minute."
It was long enough to be shaken up and taken the hospital to be checked out. They set sail at a time when wintry weather moved into the South Shore, but Michael Roy says the rescue these crews train for went off like clockwork. "They were a little frightened but in good spirits. They did exactly as we told them to do, none of them panicked," Roy said.
for more features.