December 14, 2017
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Survivor of Maine boat accident says firing a gun saved three lives

By CBS 13
WGME | BDN
WGME | BDN
Phillip Langevin is one of four people thrown overboard Sunday morning, 10 miles off shore in the Gulf of Maine, when the boat they were in capsized.

Phillip Langevin is one of the four people who were thrown overboard Sunday morning, when the boat they were in capsized 10 miles offshore in the Gulf of Maine.

One woman died, and a nearby boater helped rescue the survivors.

They had just cast their lines and were floating with the current when the boat started taking on water and capsized

“The water … hit us in the back of the legs,” Langevin said. “And next thing the boat just flipped.”

Langevin said the seas were choppy and the boat started taking on water. As water filled the back of the boat, they went to the front of the boat to try and try and keep it level. That’s when a 3-foot wave came over the engine and up the stern, flooding the boat.

“It went up and then kind of twisted and threw us,” Langevin said. “Those guys went one direction. I went in another. Had a life jacket in my hand and it got caught in the boat and I couldn’t get it.”

He said he and the other two men popped out of the water, swam to the capsized boat and grabbed on. They looked for the woman with them, 53-year-old Elizabeth Douglass, but couldn’t find her.

“Her boyfriend said he had ahold of her. And the force pulled her out from his arms,” Langevin said. “The last thing any of us heard her say is ‘I can’t swim.’ And we didn’t know if she had sunk or got washed off.”

Langevin said the only reason they were rescued is he remembered his friend had a gun.

“Flare guns and everything else was under the boat,” Langevin said. “And I told Jim, I said, ‘Fire your gun.’”

A boater who heard the shot a half-mile away pulled them out of the water. Authorities say none of them had life jackets.

“They were all ready to grab if we had the time,” Langevin said. “But we didn’t have the time.”

 


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