Barrington boat crashes off Prudence Island, six injured


A boat carrying six people from Barrington and one from East Providence crashed off the coast of Prudence Island on Saturday night, Aug. 31.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, a 26-foot power boat registered to Barrington resident William Wall was motoring north in Narragansett Bay when it ran aground just south of Sheep Pen Cove on Prudence at 9:54 p.m. Apparently, the boat was trying to cut between Prudence and Patience Islands.

DEM Spokeswoman Gail Mastrati said seven people were aboard the vessel and six were injured.

“Six were transported for non-life-threatening injuries,” she said, adding that rescue personnel took three to Kent Hospital and three to Rhode Island Hospital.

According to DEM, the people aboard the boat were Barrington residents Melissa Berkoff, 22, Kirby Dwyer, 24, Tyler Green, 24, Kurt Grusmark, 23, Jessie Ott, 22, and William Wall, 23. Also aboard was East Providence resident Joanna Ricci, 23.

North Kingstown Fire Chief Fenwick Gardiner Jr. said a number of different agencies responded to the accident, including North Kingstown, DEM, Coast Guard, East Greenwich, Portsmouth and Warwick. He said rescue personnel transported the injured boaters to Little Allen Harbor in North Kingstown where ambulances brought them to Kent and Rhode Island Hospitals.

“As far as the patients, there were four moderate to seriously injured and two minor injuries,” he said, adding that the boaters suffered head, chest, neck and back injuries in addition to some minor bumps and bruises.


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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.