2 dead after boat flips in Westport River

Two duck hunters died when their boat capsized in the Westport River in Massachusetts.

Photo: Wikimedia user John Phelan.

Two duck hunters are dead and another is recovering from hypothermia after their aluminum boat capsized in the Westport River near New Bedford, Massachusetts. The bodies of the two deceased were recovered about a half mile from where the vessel flipped, while the survivor was found on the banks of Corey's Island.

CBS Boston reports that the air temperature at the time of rescue was 8 degrees, while the water temperature was 32 degrees. Wind speeds were as high as 35 mph. Rescuers stated that the conditions were pretty extreme for duck hunting, and that it was inadvisable to be out in such weather.

"It's tragic that this case resulted in two lives lost, and it is nothing short of miraculous that one hunter was saved," Lt. Bryan Swintek, the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England public affairs officer, told the source. "It took teamwork between the Coast Guard rescue crews and our interagency partners to get him to safety."

A similar incident occurred in the same area just a week earlier, when a duck hunter went missing after his kayak was found on New Year's Eve. The hunter, Dana Dourdeville, has yet to be found.

These events are a sad reminder that piloting any kind of vessel, particularly if it is small and without shelter, during adverse weather is risky and should only be attempted if absolutely necessary. Of course, sometimes weather conditions can surprise you, with calm waters and clear skies quickly giving way to rain and wind within a matter of minutes. To avoid getting stuck offshore in such situations, make sure your boat is equipped with the right instruments that can warn you about approaching weather conditions. You can find the latest Garmin and Lowrance marine electronics at ePal.

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