Jacob Abbiso was out with clients on his fishing boat on Monday, May 16. While none of them may have been expecting to have to make a rescue at sea, they were ready when the moment arrived.
Three family members, a mother and her two young daughters, rented kayaks from Gas House Beach and drifted approximately a mile away to a formation known as Satan’s Rock. Abbiso explained that winds reached up to 30 miles per hour Monday, and he learned afterward that the family members were on the water for much longer than anticipated. Abbiso was alerted when he heard them calling out and waving their paddles in the distance.
“I had a husband and wife on their 10th wedding anniversary out on the boat and both of them were Navy vets,” said Abbiso. “So all three of us had some level of ‘crisis awareness.’”
Before attempting to save them himself, he tried reaching the Marblehead harbormaster, but to no avail.
“I don’t know if it was my radio or their radio or what happened, but I didn’t hear a response,” Abbiso said.
Abbiso then lined up his boat parallel to the kayaks, while his clients held the kayaks in place.
“Both boats were rocking, there was a lot of commotion,” Abbiso said.
Abbiso said he was nervous that his boat could fall onto the kayaks during the rescue. Nevertheless, they were able to keep the kayaks and their own boat stable enough, despite the wind and current, to complete the transition safely. They attached the kayaks to the back of the boat and towed them.
He eventually was able to meet up with both the Marblehead and Beverly harbormasters so they could take care of the three family members from there.
Abbiso had never experienced a situation like this in his days at sea, and hopes he never has to again.
“I’m beyond glad everyone got home safely,” said Abbiso. “That’s what I want to emphasize most.”