An off-duty assistant harbormaster earned a hearty thank-you from two kayakers after he helped them retrieve a kayak lost during an accident on the Barrington River.
Late last month, Sarah Jane Bradshaw and Larry Owens were kayaking on the river near the Barrington River Bridge, but found themselves in trouble while passing under the bike path trestle.
“Both of us got caught in the current and capsized,” the two wrote in a recent e-mail. “After some effort we were able to get back to shore. However, one of the kayaks was caught against the pilings under the bridge and we couldn’t get it out.”
The kayakers phoned the Barrington Police Department, but learned that the assistant harbormaster wasn’t scheduled to begin patrols for another hour or so. The police dispatcher agreed to call and see if they could find someone who could help.
“Within minutes, Pete Colella arrived and we explained our situation,” wrote the kayakers. “He wasn’t on duty yet, but went home and got his keys and came in early to help us.
“Pete was helpful, polite, professional and went above and beyond to come in before his shift started and help us. He able to extricate the kayak and all of our possessions.”
Barrington Harbormaster Ray Sousa was very pleased to hear about the recent recovery effort. He was just as happy to learn that both kayakers were well-prepared for the event of an accident.
“The thing they did, they had life jackets on,” Mr. Sousa said. “That current runs very strong through there (under the trestle). The river narrows quite a bit and it (the current) goes on a diagonal. People are not aware of it.”