NEWBURYPORT – Eleven people were rescued early Tuesday evening after a Sea Ray power boat capsized and sank in the mouth of the Merrimack River, according to the city's harbormaster.
Harbormaster Paul Hogg said it appears a large wave overturned the boat about 6:20 p.m., sending everyone into the water.
A statement by the U.S. Coast Guard on Facebook said all 11 were wearing life jackets, which made it easier to locate everyone in the water.
Hogg, along with a Coast Guard rescue boat and a private vessel, were able to reach the victims and pluck them from the water. The boats brought the 11 people back to the city boardwalk where they were examined by medical personnel. Some of those on the boat sustained what Hogg called "minor injuries" involving cuts and scrapes. None of them were taken to a hospital.
Also lending a hand were members of the Newburyport Fire Department and an Atlantic Ambulance crew.
According to the Newburyport Fire Department, the private boat that helped rescue the boaters is registered as Currency. A TowBoatUS crew was assigned to the scene and secured the sunken boat for recovery.
Hogg said having 11 people on a boat roughly 20 feet long was "pushing it" in terms of capacity.
"It was close," Hogg said.
The victims, according to Hogg, were in their teens and 20s. They were coming to gas up in Newburyport after leaving Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester.
Hogg said the mouth of the Merrimack was experiencing 5- to- 6-foot waves and was foggy at the time of the accident. He added that the victims were very fortunate considering where they were found and the weather conditions.
"Luckily, we got the call right away," he said.
There were no small-craft warnings posted at the time of the capsizing, according to officials.
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