Dragon Boat Splits, Dumps 22 in River

Rowers were practicing for the Dragon Boat Races when the boat breaks in half

It was a scary scene on the Connecticut River Tuesday after a boat capsized and sent more than 20 people into the water.

"This is the first time we took on any water at all, so we were all really surprised when that happened. We all were deer in headlights, kind of froze a little bit," said Tom Donlon of Suffield.

The rowers were out on the Connecticut River training for the Dragon Boat Races on August 15th. They were just a short distance away from the Riverside boat launch when they ran into trouble.

"We were paddling on the river and the canoe drifted into one of the embattlements, one of the big posts on the railroad tressel bridge and the boat broke in half, and 22 people went into the water," said Bill Indoe of Manchester.

Thankfully, other boaters out on the river helped to get some of the rowers back to shore. The Hartford Fire Department rescued the rest.

"Everyone was checked out by EMS, and other than being wet, there were no injuries," said Deputy Chief Robert Walsh of the Hartford Fire Department.

The team says that's due, in part, to their teamwork. Everyone made the best of a bad situation.

"Everyone stayed together as a group, good teamwork and we all made sure we were all ok," said Indoe.

The set back isn't stopping the team. They will still participate in the Dragon Boat Races on Aug. 15.

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