A family is safe after they nearly drowned when their boat took on water off the coast of Old Lyme on Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat was taking on water in Long Island Sound around 3:30 p.m.
A father, mother, and two kids, a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, were on board, according to eyewitnesses.
The mother was able to swim for shore. It took her about two and a half hours, but she made it to White Sands Beach.
The kids were wearing life vests, but their dad was not wearing a vest.
The Coast Guard and volunteers were searching, and an hour later a private boat spotted the father and children in the Sound View area, about two miles east of the White Sands Beach.
They were rushed to shore at the Lenny's on the Beach Bar.
Billy Allen, who was part of the volunteer search team, said he was relieved this scary situation ended without anyone getting injured in the process.
"I'm glad that they're OK. Their families are probably happy," Allen said. "I'm just very happy that they're perfectly OK right now."
Sue Loura helped the victim and called 911, and the woman told Sue she and her family had been in their 13 foot sailboat near the breakwater lighthouse in Old Saybrook.
They tried turn around when disaster struck.
“The boat tipped a little too far the waves were crashing against it. It took on water and it actually sank. So her family was left in the water, floating,” Loura said. "She had to come for help, there was no question about it."
A boat eventually picked the woman up and dropped her off about 50 yards from shore.
"She was in complete shock, she couldn't stop worrying for her kids and were they okay. Because the waves were so strong, she didn't know where they were even," Loura said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said all four family members escaped this ordeal uninjured.
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