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While out for a day cod fishing off the New England coast, two local anglers discover a capsized boat and become heroes.
By Toby Lapinski  |  November 13, 2012
Tags: inshore, general, offshore

On the morning of Sunday November 11, Richard Greenwald of Kingston, MA, and friend Tommy Menendez of Westwood, NJ, set out for a day of cod fishing off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Tommy had been displaced from his home in New Jersey due to the damage of Hurricane Sandy and was up in Plymouth visiting his longtime friend Richard.

The day started off relatively slow, so Richard picked up his binoculars and began scanning the horizon in hopes of locating working birds or some sort of sign of life. After a few minutes he noticed a yellowish object bobbing up and down in the waves. Initially he thought it was some sort of marine creature but quickly realized it was worse. A 20-foot fishing boat had capsized and what he was seeing was the hull of the boat as it was thrown about in the 4-foot seas. The duo quickly sped over to assist but only found and empty boat and scattered debris in the surrounding water.

Scanning the water nearby, one of them spotted a cooler afloat with what appeared to be two people clinging for dear life. They quickly sped to the cooler and rescued a pair of anglers from Fall River, MA. The two distressed fishermen had been out for a day of cod fishing when their bilge pump failed as it was clogged with fallen leaves from the recent nor’easter and hurricane. With the bilge rendered useless, the boat quickly took on too much water in the rolling seas and capsized before the two men could take action to empty the sinking craft. hey drifted about 1/2 mile from the boat before being located.

Both men were wearing life jackets but one, dressed only in pants and a t-shirt, was losing function in his legs after having been in the water for about 45 minutes.
After picking up the two men, Richard and Tommy radioed for help as well as made a call to 911 and raced back to the Town Warf where they were met by paramedics. Both of the stranded men survived; one refused medical attention while the other was treated at a local hospital for hypothermia.

While we here at The Fisherman commend the actions of Richard and Tommy, we also urge every boater out there to be certain to inspect your vessel prior to leaving port. Something so small as a few leaves in a bilge pump could quite easily have been the end of the line for these two two anglers had they not been spotted.

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