Duck Hunters Rescued From Frigid Waters Off Scatteree

By: Staff Reports

Duck hunters who were rescued from waters off Scatteree town landing Tuesday speak with fire and harbormaster personnel at the fish pier. TIM WOOD PHOTO

CHATHAM – Four duck hunters and their dog were rescued Tuesday afternoon when their boat overturned and dumped them in the frigid waters off Scatteree town landing.

All four of the men were unharmed, and after being brought to the fish pier and warming up in ambulances, declined further treatment.

It was the second day in a row the fire department received a call for a duck hunting boat in distress. And on Saturday, duck hunters who became stranded on Sandy Neck in Barnstable had to be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.

“Please use caution while engaging in recreational activities in the water,” Deputy Fire Chief Justin Tavano wrote in a press release. “Water conditions have been extremely volatile for the past couple of weeks as we have experienced strong winter storms.”

The fire department received a 911 call at 12:17 p.m. from one of the hunters reporting that their boat was sinking and two of the four people in it, and their dog, were already in the water, which was about 40 degrees at the time. All were wearing waders and they did not have personal floatation devices, according to the press release. The caller did not know the location of the boat. Winds were blowing about 30 miles per hour out of the northwest, kicking up substantial surf in the area.

A bystander reported a vessel in distress off Scatteree town landing, and Assistant Harbormaster Jason Holm, who was already underway in the department's 27-foot vessel, responded, reaching the distressed vessel less than 10 minutes after the initial call. All four men and the dog were taken aboard the harbormaster vessel and brought to the fish pier where three Chatham and one Harwich ambulance waited.

After being evaluated for possible hypothermia, it was determined the men did not have to go to the hospital. All are believed to be from the Worcester area, according to Tavano.

On Wednesday, the harbormaster department and Massachusetts Environmental Police used side-scan radar and divers to recover three of the men's four firearms from the waters north of Minister's Point.