Officials urge caution along coast after Narragansett water rescue

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — An area of the Narragansett coast known as Hazard Rock lived up to its name Wednesday night as two people were swept into the water during the high surf and dense fog.

A 39-year-old Cranston woman was rescued by members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Narragansett police while a 28-year-old man was able to make it out of the water on his own.

Narragansett fire officials said the woman suffered some scrapes and bruises from being swept over the rocky areas. She was hospitalized to be treated for hypothermia-like symptoms.

“She was definitely cold so we warmed her up down in the bow of our boat in the survivor’s compartment,” Boatswain’s Mate Alex Manning said. “We’re looking at about 55 degrees in the bay right now, about the same offshore right now, so hypothermia can set in very quickly.”

Manning has conducted many water rescues with the Coast Guard but said he’s never had to do so in such thick fog.

“When we got underway from here, it was very foggy so we were navigating by radar,” he said Thursday. “It was pretty thick, we could see about 20, 25 feet in front of us.”

Signs at the end of Hazard Avenue are explicit: Warning – Dangerous Shore Break and Caution – Slippery Rocks. If you want to go fishing or get an up-close look at the waves created by distant Hurricane Maria, Narragansett and Coast Guard officials urge you to heed the signs’ warning and keep a safe distance away from the edge.

A High Surf Advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.

“It is pretty out there,” Manning said. “Just keep in mind that things can go wrong.”