Father, Son Clinging to Cooler is Rescued After Boat Sinks in Boston Harbor

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A father and son held on for their lives by clinging to a cooler and lifebuoy while stranded off the coast of Boston Wednesday evening.

Officers Stephen Merrick and Garret Boyle of the Boston Police Harbor Unit responded to the 911 call at 6:30 p.m.

"We're so weak, I can't even move. Help him up, please," the son said to the officers during the rescue, which was captured on video.

"Seeing their faces, they were tired, they were scared," Merrick noted.

The officers said it took them about eight minutes to reach the 76-year-old man and his son of about 30, who were about 100 yards from the Graves Light, located on an island about eight miles from the Boston Seaport.

"They were cold, they looked very tired and weak and were struggling to keep their head above the water," said Merrick. "We got them in, one by one, and then we did a quick eval and brought them back here so EMS could take a look at them."

The stranded men stated to police that they were out catching lobsters when their engines died.

"They may have tangled up on some lobster traps, which killed their engines, and either the current or the wind may have pushed them to the rocks," said Boyle.

The 28-foot boat began to take on water, sinking within minutes.

The father was wearing a life vest, while the son clung to a lifebuoy and a blue cooler to stay afloat.

They were stranded for about 15 minutes, the officers estimated. Any minute longer could have turned the tide for the worse.

"You want to get them in as quickly as possible," said Boyle. "You may have eyes on them and say, 'Oh, we have them, they're safe,' but they're not. It's very quick."

The father and son reportedly suffered a few scrapes, but otherwise are doing fine.

The boat was towed out of the water and taken to Thompsons Island for repairs.

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