A former Swampscott High football coach has died, police say, after he went out to retrieve his boat around three pm Wednesday after it reportedly broke free and drifted from its' mooring.
It happened at King's Beach in Swampscott.
Sgt. Timothy Cassidy, of the Swampscott Police Department says 54-year-old William J. Ryan was dropped off to King's Beach by a friend.
That friend allegedly watched Ryan swim out to the boat with a life preserver on.
For unknown reasons at this point, "he didn't make it," said Cassidy.
A resident who identified himself as Timo Shanko said:
"We were concerned that there was a guy on the boat, because frankly the boat was in bad shape, and it looked like it was going to be 'curtains' for the boat."
Neighbors say the conditions at that time were treacherous.
It was the height of the rainstorm, the waves were so large they crashed over the seawall.
Another man, Chris Pappas, says his friend was actually the one who dropped Ryan off.
"A friend of mine dropped him off to pick up his boat and after that he noticed he wasn't seen and he called for help," he said.
Police say Ryan was pulled from the water by a boat from the nearby Swampscott Yacht Club.
They say the Ryan's boat was moored there at Fisherman's Beach.
Others say the Ryan had the life jacket was attached to his belt.
Exactly what went wrong at this point is still under investigation.
As of Tuesday night the boat called "Flying Colors" was still near the shoreline.
Officials were waiting for high tide to float, and tow it back to the mooring.
Statement from Swampscott Superintendent of Schools Pamela R. H. Angelakis:
"We are stunned and saddened by the news of Bill Ryan's death yesterday. Mr. Ryan coached our freshman football team last year and was a part of the Big Blue family for several years as an assistant coach. Our football team and many of our Swampscott Staff are understandably devastated over this tragedy and counselors were put in place early this morning to help with their grief. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."