Fisherman Rescued on Merrimack River

On Saturday, August 17, Newburyport, MA, Assistant Harbormaster Tim Wareham jumped from his vessel to free a commercial fisherman who had become entangled in rope and was in danger of being dragged to the bottom by his sinking vessel.

The incident occurred in the mouth of the Merrimack River on Saturday afternoon when the 21-foot fishing boat Janet Marie collided with a 58-foot recreational vessel. Four passengers (2 men and 2 boys) aboard the smaller boat were thrown overboard and quickly pulled from the water by crew aboard the Captain’s Lady and the Newburyport harbormaster’s boat, according to the Coast Guard.

However, Paul Belley, captain of the Janet Marie, found himself caught in rope that was tethered to his overturned boat. Wareham, who joined the Harbormaster Department less than a month ago, immediately dove into the water and freed Belley by cutting the rope then guided the dazed captain to the harbormaster’s boat.

The Janet Marie sank, but was later removed from the river.