Romney and Sons Saved Floundering Family, Dog
October 1, 2012
Via Wintery Knight and John Hawkins, the Hunterdon Review and the Dedham Transcript have the story. (I’m not familiar with the Dedham Transcript or Daily News Transcript .com, but I have independently confirmed that the story linked above did indeed run in the Boston Herald, Monday, July 7th, 2003, “all editions”, front page.)
Gubernatorial son Josh Romney told the Herald yesterday that he and brother Craig were cleaning the beach while their father puttered in the garage when the quiet night air was pierced with screams.
“We heard a whole bunch of screaming,” said Josh Romney, who immediately hopped onto his Jet Ski. “We tore out of there and my dad hopped on the other Jet Ski and came out right after us.”
Roughly 300 yards out onto the lake, six adult family members and their dog were floundering in the water, after their boat suddenly sprung a huge leak — sinking in less than 90 seconds, Josh said.
While water temperatures were a balmy 75 degrees, the deepening darkness obscured other boaters’ vision — prompting the victims’ terrified howls as they were buzzed by other vessels cruising in the entrance to Wolfeboro Bay.
. . .
Chasing fleeting glimpses of “bobbling heads” in the water, the Romney trio arrived on their two Jet Skis to find three women and three men wearing lifejackets they hadn’t even had time to buckle.
The governor pulled the two younger women aboard his three-seater Jet Ski and zoomed back to shore, while his sons helped the mother of the family onto their vehicle.
In the middle of the rescue, the governor actually took a dunking himself — thrown off the Jet Ski as one anxious boater scrambled aboard and tipped the craft off-balance.
The rescuing Romneys also managed to snatch the family dog, McKenzie, from a watery grave — grabbing the Scottish terrier first because it was the only passenger without a lifejacket.
“It looked like it wasn’t going to last much longer,” said Josh, who held the waterlogged pooch on the ride back to shore.
. . .
Josh Romney said the victims were “pretty grateful” to their rescuers. While they never feared a drowning, Romney said everyone involved was petrified that with the boat already sunk out of sight, passing vessels would accidentally run over the victims.
. . .
The weekend incident actually marked the Romney clan’s second heroic rescue on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Several years ago, the elder Romney — who was then heading up the Olympics — and the boys had to rush out in a boat and scoop up a batch of kayakers who were being battered and run onto rocks by fierce winds.
Josh Romney shrugged off the “hero” label.
“We were just lucky to be in the right place,” he said. “We did what anyone else would have done.”
Sgt. Robertson said he wasn’t surprised at the Good Samaritan behavior by the Romneys, who are well known to the neighbors.
Buzz Feed offers further commentary.