Massachusetts boaters rescued from ‘circle of death’

Two men were ejected from their out-of-control boat in Massachusetts waters – and narrowly escaped a terrifying phenomenon known as the ‘circle of death’, officials said.

The boaters lost control of their 24ft craft off Marshfield shortly before 10am on July 5 and were thrown into the water.

The boat was caught in a tight ‘high-speed’ circle known in the boating world as the ‘circle of death’ – which safety experts call the phenomenon where the circling boat hits boaters ejected in water, inflicting massive and often fatal damage to the propeller.

Although they were not wearing life jackets and were not attached to the boat’s circuit breaker, the men escaped the dangerous path of the boat and were unharmed.

Luckily for the stranded men, Captain Dana Blackman of the fishing boat Finest Kind was sailing nearby and noticed one of them waving a white T-shirt in the choppy water.

Two Massachusetts boaters were ejected from their boat and narrowly escaped the dreaded ‘circle of death’.
Marshfield Police Department.
circle of death
The men, who were not wearing life jackets, were rescued by a nearby boat.
Marshfield Police Department.
circle of death
The “circle of death” is a phenomenon in which an out-of-control boat circling strikes boaters thrown into the water.
Marshfield Police Department.

It took 90 minutes for a tug to control the spinning boat. The ship was sailing on a westward course towards Green Harbor and Brant Rock, but as Marshfield police feared the direction was changing quickly, officers temporarily closed the beaches and set up a safety zone of ‘a mile.

“It’s a stark reminder of how quickly incidents can happen on the water without notice,” Marshfield Chief Phillip A. Tavares wrote in a statement. “We urge the use of life jackets and the tethering of the vessel’s safety shut-off switch. These incidents can happen to the most experienced sailors.

About Patricia Kilgore

Check Also

Fast, Reliable: Coast Guard Presence at Beach Haven Keeps Boaters Safe

ASSIGNMENT: Coast Guard Boatswain Melissa Hiatt pilots a weekend crew through Liberty Thorofare off Beach …