Heroic officers rise above the tide, pull youngsters to safety off of Revere Beach

May 6, 2009
By

Journal Staff Report

Three Eastie pre-teens struggled against the rising tide last Sunday evening as they stood marooned on the breakers off Revere Beach.

They screamed for help as the water continued to roll in, and they began to submerge further and further underneath its cold embrace.

It was a dire situation, and it was becoming life threatening.

Meanwhile, Roughan’s Point neighbor Michael Morgan was watching it all from his binoculars on shore. Joining him soon after he saw the kids and called police were Revere police officers Joseph Singer and Kenneth Bruker, who quickly called the Fire Department’s Aquatic Rescue Unit.

Morgan rang a bell on his porch several times, and each time he did, the kids screamed again for help.

Suddenly, they started going under.

It quickly became apparent that the officers were going for a swim.

“Officer Bruker arrived on scene and I informed him of the situation and that we could no longer wait; we had to act now,” read Singer’s report.

With water temperatures still in the 40s, both officers shed their heavy equipment and jumped in the sea, swimming at breakneck speed for the young kids.

Clearly in distress and frequently going under, the officers swam the two girls into shore. One boy was still stranded, though, and as soon as the officers got into shallow water, Singer left the girls in the care of Officer Bruker and swam back out for the boy.

Singer reached the frightened youth and told him to calm him down as they swam back to shore.

In the end, the two 12-year-olds and one 11-year-old narrowly escaped a chilly death off the breakers. They were treated for minor cuts and slight hypothermia.

Capt. Michael Murphy said both officers should be credited with saving three lives.

“According to neighbors interviewed by a supervisor, following the rescue, the children would not have made it had it not been for the action of these two officers,” Murphy wrote in a statement.

Singer is a two-year veteran of the force and Bruker is a 14-year veteran.

Such scenes may not always be dramatic lifesaving events, but they have become problematic during this spring’s warmer weather.

Fire Chief Gene Doherty said last Thursday – just three days before the above event – the Fire Department and State Police had to rescue 10 teens that became trapped on the breakers.

Doherty said the teens had become stuck in the early afternoon, and things got a little dicey when the teens began to leave the breakers. Soon, they began to go underwater.

They were all rescued without incident.

Doherty said it might be time to take a break from the breakers.

“We get half a dozen of these rescues every summer, but it’s been busier this year,” he said. “It takes a lot of resources to do these things. It’s a difficult thing to do. We have to put in a boat, and it takes a lot of guys. I don’t know if [warning] signs would be enough. Maybe we need to put up a fence so people can’t go out…We’re going to lose somebody at some point.”

However, that point of view could be very controversial with neighbors and Beachmont residents, many of whom land some of the largest striped bass in the area from the rocks. It is one of the most popular fishing spots around for those without a boat.

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