IPSWICH – An Ipswich police officer is being praised for pulling five people from a mooring field after their boat capsized.
Marine Patrol Supervisor and Assistant Harbormaster Patrol Officer Matthew Bodwell, was on patrol Saturday afternoon near the Clark Beach mooring area when he received a mayday message.
Bodwell pulled a pregnant woman, a second woman, a 14-month-old girl, and two men from the water.
The group fell into the water when the 16-foot aluminum boat capsized during rough seas. No one in the group was wearing a life jacket.
“In my world, it has been busy, but this is really my first big ordeal,” Bodwell told WBZ-TV.
He reached the boat within a minute of the call.
“Everyone was holding onto the boat. So, I positioned my boat next to theirs and just started trying to get everyone out of the water safely,” Bodwell said. “The first woman I pulled out was actually pregnant. So, we got her on board. Once I got her on board safely, we maneuvered the baby from one person to me, and then I gave her to the woman already on the boat. Then I got everyone else out.”
After ensuring everyone was out of the water and had been cleared by paramedics, Bodwell drove the group to one of the couple’s homes and then returned to tow the capsized vessel to Pavilion Beach so the owner could claim it.
“This is a remarkable situation that could have turned into an unspeakable tragedy had it not been for the immediate actions of Officer Matthew Bodwell,” Police Chief Paul Nikas said. “Officer Bodwell is to be commended for his heroic work on the water on Saturday.”