Boater Rescued in Taunton River, MA


SouthCoastToday: A Somerset [MA] carpenter whose family had given him up for dead was pulled from the Taunton River Friday thanks to 2 brothers who heard his “desperate” cries for help more than an hour after he was first swept from his boat into a violent 40-degree current.

“It was a desperate cry. You could hear the fear in his voice,” said Eric Furtado, 40, a CVS pharmacist in Fall River, who spotted 51-year-old William D. Birkett Jr. while on a walk with his brother David Friday afternoon. “He was drifting pretty quick.”

Birkett, born and raised on the Taunton River, was fixing his mooring about 100’ from shore Friday afternoon when water swamped his boat and he went overboard, he said.

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