By Dakota Antelman of the Wakefield Patch as originally seen here: https://patch.com/massachusetts/wakefield/truly-life-saver-boater-thankful-after-lake-quannapowitt-rescue
WAKEFIELD, MA — A well-timed helping hand from a Wakefield Community Boating staff member was “truly a life saver” for a boater whose canoe capsized on Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield earlier this summer, according to a thank you note later sent to the clubs.
Reflecting on the incident, Amanda Haley said it was all “just part of the job.”
“I like helping people,” Haley told Patch on Monday. “When you go into working for boat rentals around the water, things like that are gonna happen.
The boater, according to the letter, was on the water in a canoe with his daughter and five-year-old grandson back in late June. They capsized, ending up in the lake with their boat full of water.
Haley said she remembers that the day was a windy one. Already using binoculars to keep an eye on Community Boating customers on the lake, she said she saw heads bobbing in the water next to an overturned canoe.
“Obviously that’s not really where you want to be,” she said.
With staff members still watching the others on the lake, Haley was able to drive the Community Boating program’s 13-foot whaler boat out to the troubled canoe trio. There, she and a handful of kayakers who also responded helped get the family out of the water while bailing out their canoe.
“I want to let you know what a wonderful job she did coming to our aid in a very dangerous situation,” the boater later said in his thank you letter. “She arrived in an extremely short time and took control of the situation.”
Haley said on Monday that situations like this are extremely rare given the volume of boaters who make their way through the lake on a daily basis. Wakefield Community Boating additionally takes precautions, closing up shop when wind or other weather conditions get too hazardous.
“Everybody’s been very safe and we’ve made sure that they understand how to navigate boating safely,” Haley said. “But, sometimes things happen, especially when it’s windy.”
Haley, who has worked with the Community Boating program for more than three years, said it was nice to get acknowledged after the fact in the form of this letter.
“More so, it just speaks to his character,” she said of the thank-you-letter-writer.
Wakefield Community Boating is scheduled to remain open through the beginning of October.