On Sunday, August 4th, just before 1900, Rescue Boat 4 was dispatched with UFD Rescue Boats 7 and 8 to Worden’s Pond to assist in a search for a father and son. The duo had launched from Taylor’s Landing heading South on the Chipuxet River towards Worden’s Pond. They never arrived at the Worden’s Pond boat launch prompting the wife to call 911. Boat 4 was deployed from the boat launch and directed North up the Chipuxet River in an attempt to locate the missing boaters or their boat. Approximately 1.5 hours into the search, Boat 4 discovered the boat abandoned in the swamp. A path was seen heading away from the boat in the brush in the direction of Route 110. A Coast Guard helicopter was called in from Cape Cod to attempt to locate the missing pair using infrared cameras. The helicopter search was unsuccessful and the search was called off for the night due to darkness. The search resumed at 0600 Monday, August 5th. Boat 4 was redeployed with its original crew back to the location of the abandoned boat. Once they arrived at the location, they donned water rescue suits and proceeded into the swamp tracking the path that had been made by the missing father and son. After approx. 1 hour, Boat 4 was able to make voice contact with someone in the swamp and was able to confirm that it was the boaters. It took another 20 minutes for Boat 4′s crew to reach the location of the father and son. Due to the dense nature of the swamp and the condition of the pair, Boat 4 requested that a helicopter be brought in the extract the father and son. The Coast Guard was called again and sent a helicopter out of Cape Cod. The father and son were lifted from the swamp along with Boat 4′s crew and flown to West Kingston Elementary School where a landing zone with EMS had been established. The father and son were taken to South County Hospital to be treated for cuts and abrasions and dehydration.
The search was a massive collaborative effort involving many agencies. These agencies included the Kingston Fire District, Union Fire District, Rhode Island State Police, South Kingstown Police, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Task Force 2, South Kingstown EMS, University of Rhode Island EMS, and the Coast Guard.
NBC 10 Coverage:
South County Independent Coverage:
Providence Journal Coverage: