Five Rescued From Water Near Stage Harbor Channel

By: Tim Wood

The Stage Harbor entrance channel. SPENCER KENNARD PHOTO

CHATHAM – Five people, including a baby, were rescued from the waters near the Stage Harbor channel today by a crew from the harbormaster's department.

According to a press release from Harbormaster Stuart Smith, about 2:50 p.m. Friday afternoon, Assistant Harbormaster Ron Tayson and EMT crewmember Brooke Hall were on patrol in the Stage Harbor channel when they saw four adults and one baby in the water being swept into the channel by strong currents and brisk winds. The people began yelling for help, and Tayson and Hall were able to recover all five from the water into the harbormaster patrol boat.

The people, who were not identified, had been on a rental boat that they anchored in the water off Morris Island. The people were apparently swimming when the boat began to drift. Smith did not know the age of the child or where the people were from. He said he believed the boat was rented in another town.

“There are all sorts of conflicting currents, and it was a little breezy, so there was a little chop, and they quickly got into difficulty,” Smith said. It was unclear if the people had lifejackets when they went into the water; none were wearing lifejackets at the time they were rescued, Smith said. 

Hall determined the people did not need further treatment and they were brought back to their boat unharmed.

Smith reminded mariners to be aware of their surroundings and to always wear lifejackets.

“It's a good reminder for how quickly things can go south,” he said.