Wareham authorities, State Police locate boaters reported missing

Jun 17, 2018

Authorities located two boaters reported missing out of Wareham early Sunday after a search by the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing and others.

Two men, both in their early 20s, were reported missing after leaving Swifts Beach at approximately 7 a.m in an inflatable raft.

After the initial report, the Wareham Department of Natural Resources, Wareham Fire, Marion Harbormaster and the United States Coast Guard searched the Wareham River. Wareham Department of Natural Resources officials called on all boaters in the area to keep an eye out for the men, who were not identified.

Eventually, State Police located the men near Wings Neck, Bourne. They were taken to Tempest Knob for evaluation by Wareham EMS. Authorities report that they were uninjured.

Wareham Department of Natural Resources officials thanked all who helped during the search, including the Bourne Department of Natural Resources and good Samaritans.

Comments (22)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 17, 2018 15:10

Thank God these guys are ok.


Bourne has a Wing Neck.   On a raft!  Yikes.  That's across  the mouth of the canal.  As far as the eye can see looking off Swift's to the left.  Several miles.  What  a trip that would have been.


Wings Cove is in Marion.  It's still a good distance from Swift's.  Just beyond Great Hill (Stones Estate) on the right looking off Swift's.  That must be where they were found.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Jun 17, 2018 20:49

Like the Great Forest Gump said “ Stupid is as Stupid Does”

Posted by: donknowlton | Jun 18, 2018 06:15

Big difference between ignorant and stupid. Judgemental fools.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 18, 2018 08:14

Good Morning Don- What part of my comment is judgemental?  I said thank God they were ok and I pointed out (to Wareham Week) that there is no Wings Cove in Bourne so the article can be corrected.

Posted by: Linda | Jun 18, 2018 08:50

Over the Bourne bridge towards Pocasset, is Wings Neck Rd.,  Wings Neck Lighthouse and Wings Cove. These are east of the end of Stoney Pt.  To the west of Stoney Pt. is Great Hill (Estates),
piney Pt. and Wings Cove between them.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Jun 18, 2018 08:59

Don Knotts , I maybe Judgemental , but I am no Fool .....

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 18, 2018 09:08

Thanks Linda - There are two Wings Coves, one in Bourne and one in Marion.  I never realized that...how confusing!  The article is then likely correct, my bad  It's just amazing that two guys on a raft made it all the way to Bourne from Swift's!   Especially because it was blowing SW yesterday by mid morning.


They crossed the mouth of Cape Cod Canal in a rubber raft!  Quite a feat!  They ought to get a barrel and give Niagara Falls a try!


Again, good they're ok and hope they learned a lesson!

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jun 18, 2018 10:53

Let's see, over 600 pounds of grown men in a rubber raft with no life jackets, phones, VHF or any way to communicate. That's not ignorant, that is just plain stupid!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 18, 2018 13:22

Peaches- I wouldn't say this if anything bad happened.  The additional info you've provided shines a different light on this mishap.  I was able to picture it!  Once again, we couldn't make this stuff up!  I would have loved being a fly on the wall as the authorities came upon this spectacle.  Speaking of the authorities, look how many are listed!  This was one expensive rubber raft ride!

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jun 18, 2018 13:33

I was at Swifts when the first responders were on scene. Such a waste of resources. I'm glad they were found safe but our first responders are already stretched thin during the summer without having to do stuff like this. I think Swifts Sheriff said it best.

Posted by: bluebird | Jun 18, 2018 18:42

Wareham by the sea, check your chart again, the Bourne Wings Cove is just north of Wings Neck along the old Canal Channel. Admittedly, this cove is not as well known as the one in Marion, and honestly, had the article not mentioned specifically Wing's Cove in Bourne, I would have automatically assumed the one in Marion. I thought I could post a scan of that area of the 13236 Chart for reference, but don't see any way to do it.

Posted by: bluebird | Jun 18, 2018 18:59

Wait, WBTS, I see that you did recheck the chart, sorry!


I was going to also comment that at 7:00 AM Sunday, they should have had near "slack water" (no tidal influence) as they made their way (paddled??) across to Long Beach Point, so how they missed it.........??? HOWEVER, I neglected to take into account that with each new hook-up to the Town sewer system, the outgoing (ebb) current in the river is increasing and so we have much stronger and longer lasting (little to no "slack water" period) outflowing currents in Wareham. So, these guys are lucky to be alive and to have been rescued. Wearable Life Jackets are required on ALL boats, so if they did not have them they were in violation of State and Federal laws. Lack of a Radio or Cell Phone (VHF radio usually better than cell) is just a lack of commonsense, highly recommended, but as yet not required, I'd want an anchor as well, heavy enough to prevent the lightweight, "toy" inflatable from blowing away once they got to LBP. Can we assume that since they were "reported" missing that they did at least do one thing right?? Did they "file a float plan", that is let someone trusted know where they were going and when they would be back? Sounds like they may have at least done ONE thing right. Thank goodness that there were no other serious distress calls during this rescue, and that their Guardian Angels were working overtime!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 19, 2018 01:44

Bluebird- you've provided a bunch of good info.  The one thing that stands out is Long Beach Point.  These dudes were just headed to the Sandbar.  Guess they missed it!  It's right there across from Swifts! They overshot it by about 5 miles!  That takes a lot of ebb current!  Wow!  I wonder how many boats saw them?  Especially when crossing the Canal channel.

Posted by: bluebird | Jun 19, 2018 17:41

Speaking of "missing" Long Beach Point, Saturday late morning, I was out sailing and observed a small (20' +/-) outboard runabout coming out of Wareham, they were going along slow, enjoying the beautiful weather and soon turned towards Long Beach Point, which at the time was under water due to the moon high tide. I was surprized that they did not seem to be preparing their anchor as based on their course, they were obviously heading over to anchor there.......... As I sailed along they were (I thought) almost on the beach, yet still putting along, and still no one was preparing the anchor yet. Well, just then I heard my centerboard hit the beach...... OOPS! and I quickly released the line holding it down and veered off towards deeper water, still amazed to watch that other boat continue right across the middle of the sandbar! They did trim their outboard up a bit at that time... but kept cruising along slow. Based on the fact that I was a LOT closer to the point than I thought..... they had gone right over the entire width of Long Beach Point without even a pause! How they avoided hitting the numerous rocks along the Southern side I'll never know! It must have been just incredibly great luck that guided them! I hope they purchase (and learn to read it) a nautical Chart before going out again, because that kind of luck doesn't usually repeat itself! (Guess I need to review my chart too! <GRIN!>) The fact that they were just putting along slow probably saved them from grief, but I know if that had happened to me I'd have been a lot more (embarased!) observant for ther rest of the trip. I don't think this incident concerned them at all, or at least from the distance I observed it, they just acted like everything was fine. I didn't see them come back in, might have been interesting!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 19, 2018 18:30

nice narration of an entertaining event.  It is amazing how many boaters are like Mr. Magoo out there!  I grew up calling Long Beach Point "the sandbar".  That was the first sub-aquatic hazard to navigation that I observed and learned from.  How to anchor on it.  Is the tide coming in or going out?  is the wind SW or NE?  Enough scope.  is there a lot of wake action...and on and on.  I've seen boats beached on it.  I've seen boats without scope pull their anchors and float away as their owners dug clams!  All how we learn!


A much less forgiving bugger is Dry Ledge!  We anchored in between it and Buoy #2 to fish.  It was a day with light wind.  Tide was mid so the big rocks were peeking out.  A large high sided older sailboat about 24 feet was sailing from wareham on a slow reach heading for the ledge.  We almost blew the horn to draw attention but the rocks were showing!   I thought they knew where they were going and planned to skirt the ledge off their starboard.  Nope!  The first thud was the loudest!  Big ole fixed heavy keel meeting rock! They didn't seem alarmed.  Like a pinball hitting bumpers they kept going!  A few more softer thuds and some scrapes and they cleared it and sailed on.  We still talk about it when we are out there.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Jun 20, 2018 10:29

WBTS,  Back in the day Crazy Walter  would go through the back of the sand bar without ever hitting a thing .. I seen him do it many times and was amazed...

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 20, 2018 12:31

His name is Walter McGovern...

But you're right, that old man knows those waters like nobody else does. Then again he could ride a bicycle further than most men half his age.

Posted by: Linda | Jun 20, 2018 15:49

WBTS - Didn't mean to sound like a smart ass pointing out Wings Cove in Bourne, but I heard it all on the scanner and I knew they ended up at Great Hill Estate.  We all called Long Beach the sandbar, great fun.  

S_S (Sorry CP) Crazy Walter was what he was called because he would try to grab girls at the beach, push them off the raft or ride in circles around them as they were walking home, with his bike.  I dove off the Pinehurst raft and came up in the current, not a problem for me as I was a strong swimmer, and started swimming back to the raft.  I didn't know that crazy Walter dove off as I was coming up.  Suddenly I was being pulled under by someone's hands.  I kicked and came up for air as did he and tried swimming back when he climbed on my back and pushed me under.  A friend saw this as did the life guard with his canoe.  They saved me from "Crazy Walter" and he was allowed to swim back home to Hamilton beach!!!!    I had bloody scratches on my legs, back, arms & face.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Jun 20, 2018 16:35

Hey Cranky Farts , I know his name is or was Walter McGovern. I couldn’t tell ya how many times I rode my bike over to his parents house to tell them to come get him because he was about to get a beating from someone down Swifts because he was staring at someone’s girl and pitching a tent on the beach. The dude had some issues . But he knew them waters behind the sand bar like nobody’s business...

linda, you are correct the dude was creepy to say the least. Imagine if he was around today lol ...

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 20, 2018 18:17

Linda-so they did end up there.  No  worries because I learned that there are two Wings Coves within a few miles of each other.  That's good to know.. especially if calling in a mayday from one of them.


As far as Walter.  Yep, knew all about him.  Nineteen eighty something on Swift's always included a little Crazy Walter. We  were always keeping an eye on him for the girls.  To this day I always thought of him as  just annoying  and creepy but never knew he did stuff like that!   He's likely passed away by now.  But still, I didn't like hearing that.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Jun 21, 2018 09:33
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 21, 2018 13:24

Yes, RIP Walter.


Reading his obit explains a few things and makes me think.  Saint Coletta was and still is just a decent private Catholic day school for special needs students.  However, Fernald, in Waltham, was the leader when it comes to the history of public run institution, eugenics, and medical experimentation on children with disabilities.  Controversial and quite horrifying as were all the State Schools and psychiatric hospitals such as Dever in Taunton, Taunton State, Danvers State, etc.  They're all closed now.  The topics of much research, exploration, and interest, combined with disapproval and disbelief, many find these places intriguing.  There's quite a following.  Movies are filmed in them (i.e Shutter Island at Medfield State).  Paranormal investigations are conducted in them.  And, although trespassing, enthusiasts get a rush out of sneaking into them.  Interesting...

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