Boater braves ‘treacherous currents’ in half-mile swim to safety

A boater swam half a mile to safety after he found himself in “treacherous currents” off the coast of Falmouth Sunday, navigating a heavily trafficked maritime corridor in cold water as his boat sped in circles without him, officials said.

Authorities have not released the name of the man, but Falmouth Fire Captain Greg Clements said he is in his late 20s. Investigators were trying to determine how he wound up in the dangerous waters of Woods Hole Passage.

The US Coast Guard got a call around 10:20 a.m. about an unmanned 21-foot center console boat circling in the area, officials said. Shortly after, fire crews arrived to find the man had been rescued by employees of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who spotted him and “plucked him from the water,” Clements said. The man was treated for minor hypothermia but declined to go to the hospital, Clements said.


“He was very, very lucky, ” he said. “One, that he was able to swim . . . and two, that he didn’t get hit by another boat.”

Clements said that several ferries regularly pass through the area and that the currents can be strong.

The incident is under investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police, who could not be reached for comment.

Alexandra Koktsidis
can be reached at alexandra.koktsidis