WATCH: Father, Son Clinging to Cooler Rescued From Boston Harbor After Their Lobster Boat Sank

by Amy Myers

A lobster fishing trip turned into a nightmare situation for a father-son duo when their boat sank in the Boston Harbor. With little other equipment to help them, the two clung to their cooler until help could arrive. Luckily, both men survived the incident, but they were a bit worse for wear when they reached dry land.

At roughly 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Boston Police Department’s harbor patrol unit received a call regarding a boat taking on water. The boat was near the outermost edge of the harbor by Graves Light Station, a privately-owned lighthouse on a rocky islet about 9 miles from the coast.

According to responding officers, Stephen Merrick and Garrett Boyle, they first saw the bow of the vessel Glory Days barely breaching the Boston Harbor’s surface. As they came closer, the officers realized the two men were desperately hanging on to their blue drink cooler.

Merrick recalled how distraught the unnamed father-son pair appeared as they pulled the boat towards them.

“You could see the fear in their face,” Merrick said. “They were cold, they looked very tired and weak, and were struggling to keep their head above the water,” Stephen Merrick, one of the officers on the harbor, told NBC Boston.

Boston Harbor Sinking Victim Insists Officers Help Father First

The younger of the two victims, holding onto a life ring, was 38 years old while his father, in an orange personal flotation device, was 76 years old.

In the body clip from one of the officers, the younger man conveyed just how exhausted the pair was.

“We’re so weak,” he told the officers. “I’ve got no strength,” his father agreed.

Despite his rough condition, the son insisted the officers help his father up first.

“Help him up please,” he said. “Help him up first.”

Boat Sank Due to Tangled Lines, According to Lobster Angler

Thankfully, the two were able to board the boat without further incident. Once safely out of the Boston Harbor water, the father-son pair confirmed there were no other passengers on their lobster vessel when it sank.

Officers have not yet released an official cause of the boat sinking. However, the two lobster anglers reported that the boat’s 28-foot engine became entangled in their lines and failed.

To make matters worse, the Boston Harbor’s strong current pulled the vessel to the rocky island’s shores where the hull became punctured.

With no other options, the two had to abandon ship with the little resources they had left.

Thankfully, the harbor patrol officers arrived in the nick of time, seemingly just before the couple lost their last reserves of energy. Though the story ended with no fatalities, it is an important reminder for boaters to regularly practice safety procedures.