HULL, Mass. (WPRI) — An investigation is underway after a man fell overboard and died in the water off of Hull, Massachusetts Saturday night.
Eyewitness News has learned the victim was onboard the Provincetown II, which had been rented out for a private party.
The company that owns the ship said the victim was horsing around before he fell overboard by Peddocks Island.
“The boat had been rented out for an end of summer party, and so it was cruising around the harbor,” United States Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll said.
The Coast Guard says it received a call around 8:30 p.m. about a man overboard. Coast Guard crews, Massachusetts state police dive teams, and other agencies responded.
“We searched about a 14-square-nautical mile radius until we finally, the divers finally found the 21-year-old male at about 1 a.m.,” Groll said.
Eyewitness News reached out to the owners of the ferry, Bay State Cruise Company. In a release, the company said they are heartbroken for the family of the victim:
“Minutes before the passenger fell from the vessel, while he was engaged in a type of vertical push up from the Bulwark of the vessel, a crew member had approached him and told him to climb down.”
Although he initially complied, the company said the man continued to engage in horseplay after the crew member walked away.
Eyewitness News’ Boston affiliates interviewed several people disembarking the ship following the incident.
“He was swimming for like ten minutes, no one jumped in for him, we watched him die,”said one person on board the boat.
“There was a spotlight and people were throwing life preservers, but there was no lifeguard to save anyone,” added another witness.
Divers eventually found the 21-year-old’s body about one-hundred yards away from where he fell in the water, and about forty-five feet under the water.
“It’s very tragic and our prayers go out to the family of the gentleman who, who we found last night,” Groll said.
The man’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Massachusetts State Police are still investigating.