PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — About an hour after rescue crews responded to a fatal marine accident over the weekend, that same team responded to a distress call that may have saved the lives of four people.
Portsmouth Fire Department Marine 2 was entering the East Passage, between Portsmouth and Prudence Island, when the crew said they heard a person screaming in the water. Upon arrival, rescue crews found a vessel that had struck a channel maker.
The boat had two males and two females on board. Officials said all of them received injuries in the collision.
According to Michael P. O’Brien, Deputy Chief of the Portsmouth Fire Department, a man was ejected from the boat and was struggling with injuries in the water when crews arrived. They quickly hauled him onto the Portsmouth boat and began treatment on his injuries.
Two more victims on the boat sustained head injuries, one with a significant leg fracture. O’Brien said a fourth victim was also injured but refused treatment from responders.
O’Brien credits the first responders for saving the victims from what could have been a different ending.
“It is likely that there would have additional fatalities had they not taken the actions they did. These responders were able to locate the victims, start advanced medical treatment, move the patients to shore, and even transported the injured to Rhode Island Hospital; all in less than 1 hour.”
The three victims who received treatment were transported to Rhode Island Hospital with fractures, lacerations and blunt force trauma.