NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — One man has died after the inflatable raft he was riding in overturned off Fort Taber in New Bedford. Several people jumped in the water to try to help him, but weren’t able to revive him.
The man has been identified as 46-year-old Jesus Caravjal.
“The water was extremely cold. The seas were 5-7 foot seas,” explained Dinarte Pacheco, a first responder.
“And it was such a small inflatable craft, that we actually, when we looked around and didn’t see anyone we thought perhaps it just blew off of land,” said Scott Gomes.
Caravjal’s family said they were having a barbecue around 6 p.m. when he went out in the inflatable raft by himself. It started to lose air and it threw him in the water.
His son and another person swam out to save him.
Pacheco and Gomes directed rescue boats to the trio in the water, then helped pull the two survivors to safety.
Caravjal was unconscious when he made it to land.
“It hit us pretty hard. we were emotionally just trying to help out and do the best we can and unfortunately, we lost one.”
The Good Samaritans said they did not see any life jackets on the inflatable raft.