A runaway boat off the coast of Marshfield, Massachusetts, prompted a beach closure and left two people thankful to be alive after they went overboard Tuesday, leaving their boat with no one at the controls and spinning dangerously out of control.
"The boat was creeping toward the west, toward the beaches so that prompted a beach closure,” Marshfield Harbor Master Michael DiMeo said.
The high-powered boat was running in circles about three fourth's of a mile off Marshfield. This is what Marshfield Harbor Patrol and Sea Tow had to deal with. DiMeo said it started with a call just before 10 a.m.
"From a fishing vessel out of Marshfield Green Harbor that he just picked up two people that were ejected from a 24-foot center console vessel," DiMeo said.
Two men -- ages 19 and 20 -- were tossed off the boat, sending it into what the harbor master calls, “The circle of death. High speed, tight turns circling very rapidly. The throttle was pegged down pretty hard.”
Capt. Ethan Maass owns Sea Tow South Shore so he’s seen this before.
“When you get ejected from a boat it’s very likely that the boat would come back around and hit you or injure you with the propeller of the engine,” he shared.
Sea Tow dropped tow lines into the water near the runaway boat.
"In this case we fouled the engine, slowed the boat down, got alongside close enough that we could reach the kill switch on the ignition and turn the boat off that way,” Maass explained.
They did that with a boat hook. Neither man on board wore a life vest. And by law, the operator should have been tethered to the kill switch so the engine would shut down the moment he was thrown out.
"They were extremely, extremely lucky,” DiMeo said.
The two men were not hurt. They said they hit something in the water.
The investigation is still underway but the harbor master said neither drugs nor alcohol were involved.