There’s been a lot of boat-related drama in the news these days. Conditions are just getting worse aboard the Carnival cruise that has been drifting aimlessly about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula. There have been reports of feces and water running over the floor of the ship. Yikes!
However, over in East Hampton, one boat-related incident turned into a heroic and positive story that is a reminder of how amazing our volunteer fire departments are out here on the East End.
Early Monday morning, a rescue was made aboard a sinking 30-foot houseboat that sent the ship to an icy demise, and a woman greatful for the Springs Fire Department.
A man and a woman who have been living in a boat at Gardiner’s Marina, had to escape their floating home when it started sink at 4 a.m. yesterday. And when it started to sink, it started to sink rapidly. Nobody is quite sure yet why it started sinking, but there is speculation that it had to do with snow and ice from the recent storm cracking the hull or melting into the hull. The temperature that morning was well below freezing. The man on the boat was able to jump to safety by leaping onto the dock, however the woman, who was barefoot and probably terrified, couldn’t make the jump. By the time the fire department arrived, the woman was standing on top of the sinking boat, and fire fighters stretched a ladder over to her and saved her.
Just imagine how cold it is outside in the last couple of days! Then multiply that cold times being barefoot, wet and on a sinking boat! Crazy.
Believe me when I tell you this. Living on boats in the wintertime in Springs is not easy. It’s a very difficult way to live, even in the summertime, and that’s especially true if the vessel is older and things are constantly breaking on it.
Thirty-five volunteer firefighters responded in Springs to rescue this woman and East Hampton Town Police Officer Denis Shea was the guy that crawled across the ladder to get her.
Who knows what would have happened if we didn’t have men and women in Springs like this who are willing to respond at any time, on a moments notice. My hat is off to them.