18 people have been rescued after a Westport Rowing Club accident at Combo Beach

18 people have been rescued after a Westport Rowing Club accident at Combo Beach

The incident occurred off Westport off Combo Beach in Long Island Sound around 5pm on Wednesday, March 20.

According to Westport Police Lt. Eric Woods, police, fire and EMS responded to Combo Beach on a report that several people were in the water after a boat capsized.

Responding units found a chaotic scene of youth swimming to shore, arriving in boats, and some still in the water near Kokino Island.

First responders immediately began providing care to those who reached shore and coordinating the recovery of people from the water, Woods said.

While all concerned persons were identified and located, medical care was provided, and two people were transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

Woods said a preliminary investigation indicates three rowboats and one chase boat were launched from the Saugatuck Rowing Club. Each rowing boat is 60 feet long and seats nine rowers ages 14-18 while the chase boat is operated by their coach.

He added that when the boats reached the Kokino Island area, the weather began to change, and the rowers tried to return to the rowing club. The boats began taking on water, causing two of them to capsize, causing 18 people to fall into the water.

The group swam to the chase boat and began clinging to the side of that boat causing the chase boat to sink as well.

Another chase boat from the rowing club arrived and began transporting people to Combo Beach Marina, Woods said.

The air temperature at the time of the accident was 40 degrees, and the water temperature was 44 degrees.

In total, there were 29 people from the rowing club involved in this incident.

The following agencies assisted Westport Emergency Services with this incident:

  • Fairfield Marine Police Department
  • Stamford Marine Police Department
  • Noroton fire boat
  • Norwalk Marine Police Department
  • Norwalk Fire Marine Dept
  • US Coast Guard

The following emergency medical services provided 8 ambulances and 20 personnel:

  • Norwalk Hospital
  • American Medical Response (AMR)
  • Darren EMS

The Westport Board of Education helped provide a school bus to transport people from Compo Beach to the Saugatuck Rowing Club.

“This was truly a team effort,” said Westport Police Chief Fotis Koskinas. “We are grateful to the agencies around us who assisted us in this incident and remind our communities that when a large-scale event, like this, occurs, we all show up to help.”

Click here to follow Daily Voice Westport and receive free news updates.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *