The Block Island Times

Boat capsizes in Old Harbor, family rescued

Sep 02, 2013

A private boat capsized in Old Harbor on Thursday, Aug. 22, but the family was rescued and there were no major injuries.

The boat was operated by Bill Madden, of Foxborough, Mass. It was headed into Old Harbor around 9 p.m. when it struck a buoy and began to sink.

“I didn’t notice the buoy, and I hit it,” said Madden. But several Block Islanders quickly rushed to the rescue after the police were dispatched — including Old Harbor Dockmaster Josh Moore, Bob Littlefield and his assistant Kelly Milstead, who operate the private boat that is used for parasailing, the Parasail.

“We went out on the Parasail,” said Moore. “Bob and Kelly came alongside the wife and kids and helped them off the boat. Then Bill [Madden] turned around and the boat started to sink immediately.” The boat turned over, causing minor injuries to Madden, but he was rescued.

“Everybody was so awesome. Everyone went so far above and beyond,” said Madden. He said that in addition to the rescue, which kept his children safe and out of the water, members of the Block Island community brought food, tupperware and even drove the family back to their hotel.

“My whole family was so grateful,” said Madden. Despite the boating accident, he planned to stay on Block Island for the remainder of their vacation.

— Stephanie Turaj

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