Good Samaritans rescue boaters after craft capsizes

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POINT PLEASANT -

A group of good Samaritans were able to prevent a tragedy after another group’s boat capsized.

Rough conditions Sunday caused a boat carrying six people to overturn in the Point Pleasant Canal. Cindy Melahn and the four other people on her boat saw the group struggling and rushed to their aid.

“I saw no lifejackets. None, not a one,” Melahn says. "I saw people panicking trying to get out of that water."

Melahn says that she saw one of the people in the water clinging to a water cooler. She says that she and her friends were able to pull the people out of the water onto their boat.

“We had to pull them up because it was tough to get them out of that water,” she says.

One of the men rescued collapsed after being pulled from the water, according to Melahn.

Boating experts say that it is important for inexperienced boaters to be aware of what they are getting into. Valentino Borrelli spent 25 years with State Police Marine units in the canal.

“[Novice boaters] should pay attention to which way the tide is running, speed of it, conditions of how heavy the wake is inside," he says.

Melahn says that she’s glad her group was in the right place at the right time.

“Everybody had a crucial role. Everybody did a great job,” she says. “We didn't panic, we just yanked them up."

State police says that they are investigating the exact cause of the capsize.

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