east lyme

East Lyme Dispatchers Use FaceTime to Help in Rescue After Boat Capsizes

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Two men from Springfield, Massachusetts were rescued after their boat capsized in Long Island Sound thanks to East Lyme police dispatchers who used FaceTime to help determine where they were.  

Just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the East Lyme Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call from people who were on a boat that was taking on water.

The boat was thought to be off Millstone Point, in Niantic Bay, and marine units from the Niantic Fire Department, East Lyme Police Department, Goshen Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard responded, along with East Lyme and Waterford ambulances.

While the boaters were on the phone with the East Lyme Police Department dispatch center, the vessel capsized and the two boaters went into the water, police said. They were then able to climb on the capsized vessel.

The two men planned to go fishing, but their motor failed and big waves caused the boat to flip, police said.

The boaters were having difficulty reporting their location, so dispatchers decided to use FaceTime to see their surroundings, which helped pinpoint where they were, police said.

"My partner, Dispatcher Knight, she says, 'let's have him FaceTime,'" Jon Leonard, a dispatcher for East Lyme police said. "So, I give them my cell phone number. They call me from a cell phone, FaceTime. It failed the first time. I then called him back because I had his number, and he was able to answer the call." 

The vessel was found around a quarter mile from the New York border in Long Island Sound, off Black Point, in water that is 70 to 100 feet deep.

The East Lyme Marine Unit, manned by two East Lyme police officers and a Niantic firefighter pulled the boaters to safety and the two people were transported to Mago Point in Waterford, where Waterford Ambulance personnel examined them.

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