By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — Authorities rescued a couple and their two young children from the water off Lynch Park yesterday afternoon after their sailboat capsized in heavy winds.
The incident was reported to police at 2:39 p.m. Harbormaster Daniel McPherson said the couple had been sailing in relatively shallow water between Lynch Park and Dane Street Beach when their 12-foot sailboat overturned.
“The wind was just too strong for that,” he said.
All four people were wearing their life jackets and the couple managed to get their two children — a 3-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl — back onto the boat. All told, the parents were in the water for about 10 minutes and the children under five, McPherson said.
The four were transported back to land via a harbormaster patrol boat and then to Beverly Hospital by ambulance. The hospitalization was a precautionary measure and no injuries were reported, McPherson said.
He added that the water temperature was cold enough — about 49 degrees yesterday — that any of the four could have developed mild hypothermia.
McPherson said the parents were likely novices and that more experienced boaters would have stayed out of the water due to the small craft advisory in effect at the time.
Police and the Fire Department stood by during the incident.