Letter: Thanks to all those who possibly saved my life

Posted 10/1/21

To the editor:

I have been sailing on the Sakonnet River for about 35 years. I’ve always made it home on my own. On Sept. 15 at about 5 p.m., a powerful gust tipped my sailboat over right in …

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Letter: Thanks to all those who possibly saved my life

Posted

To the editor:

I have been sailing on the Sakonnet River for about 35 years. I’ve always made it home on my own. On Sept. 15 at about 5 p.m., a powerful gust tipped my sailboat over right in the middle of the Sakonnet River.

To make matters worse, my daggerboard snapped in half when I tried to upright the boat. Then, I realized my cell phone was swamped and inoperable (sort of a “perfect storm”) I stood on my overturned hull, waving my neon-yellow hacked arms for half an hour (I fell off twice more doing this), before Hugh MacGillivray of Portsmouth noticed me and kite-boarded out to me in four-foot waves and howling wind. He told me he would go to Fogland and call for help. Incredibly, he did that, and then boarded back out to tell me help was on the way!

Shortly thereafter, both the Tiverton harbormaster (whose name I never got) and a Tiverton Fire Department rescue boat came out with three men on it (Nick, Don and Jim), uprighted me, and towed me back to McCorrie Point just before sunset. (It turns out my boom had broken, too.)

When I got back to shore, my old friend, retired Portsmouth Police Chief Dennis Seale, just “happened” to be there to help me and let me use his phone.

I just want to publicly thank all of these men for possible saving my life. Hugh, I am especially grateful for the risk you took. Please contact me so I can thank you personally. See you all out on the water soon!

Dr. Kenneth Kehew

Portsmouth

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.