WAREHAM — Five people are rescued after they're thrown from their boat in the waters off of Wareham Monday night.

Wareham Police responded to the area of 261 Great Neck Road at about 8 p.m. on Monday after receiving reports of a loud crash and people, possibly in the water, yelling for help.

Officers James White and Blaise Lalli arrived on scene and began searching for anyone in distress. The officers made their way to the Stony Point Dike and heard multiple people in the water on the Cape Cod Canal side of the dike, screaming for help. Police saw two people struggling and heard several others yelling, but could not immediately locate them.

Officer White jumped into the water with a life jacket and throw ring and was able to save the two struggling people, bringing them to shore.

Officer Lalli made her way further down the dike and located three more people clinging to a channel marker buoy. Officer Lalli alerted the Wareham Natural Resources personnel to the location of the three people. Harbormaster Garry Buckminster and Lt. Justin Harrington of the Onset Fire Department arrived on the DNR boat and rescued the three people.

Police say the five people suffered only minor injuries.

Wareham Police Department
Wareham Police Department

The investigation revealed that the five people were cruising on a vessel owned by Andrew Murray of Mattapoisett when the boat struck a buoy marker, throwing the five passengers into the water. Murray was one of the five people rescued from the water.

The accident is under investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

Acting Police Chief John Walcek praised Officer White by saying, “Officer James White risked his life tonight by jumping in the ocean without hesitation, saving two lives. The individuals in distress were over a 120 feet from shore, coupled with the strong canal current, and darkness made the rescue of these two people miraculous. I am extremely proud of his bravery under adverse conditions.”

Walcek added, “Officer Lalli was prepared to enter the water where the other cries for help were coming from until it was realized that they were clinging to buoy. The cooperation and coordination between the multiple agencies involved, made this night end without any loss of life. Wareham is indeed lucky to have such dedicated public servants. Furthermore, it should be added that these rescues would not have happened if it was not for the concerned residents who called 911 and began checking the area.”

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