Two More Romney Stories: Rescues on Lake Winnipesaukee, Boater & Pooch, Kayakers

A gorgeous full moon sheds light over Lake Winnipesaukee. It was about this time of night, eight years ago, when six boaters and their dog capsized on the New Hampshire lake. Little did they know their rescuers would be... the recently-elected Governor of Massachusetts and two of his sons.


Speaking of Mitt Romney’s character, here’s another good story about Romney and his two sons, Josh and Craig. It happened eight years ago in New Hampshire, in the dark of a summer night, on Lake Winnipesaukee…

Romney rescues capsized boaters
Jul 06, 2003
Updated Jul 19, 2007

Gov. Mitt Romney rode to the rescue over the weekend during a vacation trip — using his Jet Ski to help pluck a New Jersey family and their dog out of Lake Winnipesaukee after their boat sank.

The drama began at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, as Romney and his family were relaxing at their lakeside summer home in Wolfeboro, N.H.

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.

With Josh and Craig hovering nearby, the three men treaded water until the governor returned and made two more trips to ferry them back.
[...]
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.

“They were pretty scared,” Josh Romney said. …

This wasn’t the first time Governor Romney and his boys came to the rescue for people in trouble on Lake Winnipesaukee:

Several years ago, the elder Romney — who was then heading up the Olympics — and the boys rushed out in a boat to 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.

(emphasis added )



► Jayde Wyatt