Father, girl, 12, hurt in North Weymouth boat mishap
All Bruce Williams could think of was his daughter.
Williams, 57, his wife, Patrice, and his daughter, Emily, 12, were on the dock at the South Shore Yacht Club in North Weymouth on Saturday, preparing to take supplies back to their larger boat in a dinghy.
When Emily jumped into the 10-foot boat and started the 9.8-horsepower motor, a slip of her hand lurched the craft into gear. And the kill switch - a lanyard that attaches the key to the driver’s life jacket and turns the boat off when it is pulled - slipped off her life jacket. The dinghy took off unmanned, knocking her into the water.
“The boat essentially ran wild,’’ Williams said. “I jumped in, and I saw the boat coming back at us.’’
To protect his daughter from the propeller blades, Williams said, he dunked her under the water when the boat came at them.
He was hit several times as the vessel bore down on them repeatedly, until fellow boaters were able to help lasso the boat and flip it over.
“Everybody was fantastic,’’ he said. “I couldn’t ask for better friends or neighbors.’’
Williams sustained severe cuts on one hand and his head. He received about 30 staples in his head and about 30 stitches in his hand at South Shore Hospital.
Emily suffered minor bruises.
“All I was thinking about was my baby girl and making sure she didn’t get hit by the boat,’’ Williams said.
Though his daughter was slightly traumatized by the event, Williams doesn’t think she’ll stay away from the ocean for long.
“She’ll bounce back,’’ he said. “She’s a tough kid. She loves the water; she loves the ocean.’’
Amanda Cedrone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.