A Massachusetts man and his two young children faced danger on Sunday when a boat they were thrown from began to circle them in the Essex River.
The driver of the small boat made a quick turn, which caused a 7-year-old child to be launched into the water, the Essex Police Department said. After the operator overcorrected the steering, the father and his 3-year-old child were also thrown from the vessel and landed in the river.
During the incident, the motor remained on and caused the boat to circle around the family, officials said.
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Another family nearby witnessed the potentially perilous incident and called 911 before they rescued the father and his two children. The victims were then rushed to Essex Town Landing.
An Assistant Harbormaster was able to stop the unmanned boat, which unfortunately struck the Harbormaster vessel. The unoccupied boat was towed to Essex Town Landing, where officials will conduct an investigation.
"We are very grateful for the quick thinking and decisive actions of the rescuers who pulled the three victims out of the water so quickly before they could have been struck by the moving unmanned vessel," Essex police said in a statement.