Updated 09/26/2012 08:53 PM
Man drowns after boat capsizes during fishing trip
A man drowns after a boat capsizes in what is generally thought of as a quiet and shallow pond. Berkshire County reporter Madeleine Rivera has the story.
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SHEFFIELD, Mass. -- "I've never heard of anyone drowning over there, so it's kind of news, you know," Paul Hankey, Sheffield resident.
A fishing boat capsized and two men fell overboard into Three Mile Pond in Sheffield. One of them died.
"The Massachusetts State Police Dive Team was called in to do a recovery operation for the individual that was later found that evening," said Chief Eric Munson of the Sheffield Police Department.
The 49-year-old survivor swam to shore and called for help for his uncle, his fishing partner. A hiker heard his calls, ran to the nearest house and called 911, almost an hour and a half later.
"It's kind of shallow and murky, you know," said Hankey.
Chief Munson said that the couple was about 400 yards into the lake when the boat capsized. The grounds of the pond are very stumpy, so one can just imagine how difficult conditions were for the nephew when he swam back to shore and also what local authorities had to deal with when they were looking for the body.
"The nearest resident from the location where the individual, where the survivor was found, I believe is about a mile and half away," said Munson
Even so, officers say there are safety precautions boaters must take when they head out.
"Life jackets obviously, they have to be in the boat, Massachusetts law requires a life jacket in every boat for every passenger, so that's a must. Inform people. Where you're going. In these remote areas, that can be helpful. Carry a cell phone and just be safe in the water, know the water, know the lake," advised Munson.
For now, Sheffield police aren't releasing any more information about the identity of the victim.