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Woman flown to R.I. hospital after Westport boat crash

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 6/25/2020 Nick Stoico

A woman was taken by MedFlight to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence with serious injuries after she was thrown ashore in a boating crash on the east branch of the Westport River on Wednesday night, according to the fire department.

Three others on board were taken to a local hospital in Fall River with minor injuries, while a fifth victim was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, said Lieutenant Keith Nicholson.

Eight people, ranging from 14 to 24 years old, were on the boat, Westport fire officials said in a statement Thursday morning.

First-responders were dispatched to the area of Cadmans Neck Road at 10:48 p.m. for a reported boating crash, fire officials said. Two ambulances were sent to the scene.

“When the first ambulance arrived, a request was made for assistance (additional staffing) in getting through the heavy brush to reach the vessel on the riverbank, approx. 20 feet below the yard of the nearest residence,” fire officials said in a statement.

It is unclear what the boat crashed into but it came to a sudden stop, throwing the woman off the vessel, Nicholson said.

Westport police and fire departments, along with Stat Dartmouth and Rhode Island fire departments from Tiverton and Little Compton, assisted at the scene, fire officials said.

Westport police and Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating the incident.

“While this incident remains under investigation, the Massachusetts Environmental Police have seen an increase in tragic boating accidents across the Commonwealth in recent weeks, many of which could have been avoided by adhering to important safety measures,” said Craig Gilvarg, spokesman for Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in a statement. “We urge the public to take extra care to prioritize safe and responsible boating and help prevent tragic accidents.”

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