POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – Will Ferrigno was eating and relaxing at the Hillsboro Club near the Hillsboro Lighthouse when he heard that a boat hit the jetty and people needed help.
“All I heard was there’s kids that are stuck on the boat, there’s kids that are stuck on the boat,” Ferrigno told CBS 4 News.
Rescue crews said a 32-foot Boston Whaler, with at least six people on board, hit some rocks in the Hillsboro Inlet Friday night.
As a towboat worker stood on the boat it tilted on its side, the waves rocked it back and forth.
Ferrigno and several others swam then walked on the rocks to reach the boat. He said there were three children and about four adults on board.
“The mom and dad were distraught,” Ferrigno said. “Mom was traumatized.”
A Good Samaritan snapped photos showing boaters being rescued. Ferrigno said the father of the kids injured his shoulder and couldn’t swim.
“I swam him to the sheriff’s boat and got him safe,” he said.
Cellphone video captured a rescue chopper landing. Firefighters said a 14-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
By nightfall towboats freed the boat from the rocks and took it to a boat ramp.
Ferrigno said the boat sustained a 2-foot gash on its side. He got a few cuts and bruises himself but he was happy to help people in need.
“I just did what I would somebody to do if it was my kids,” he said.