On Tuesday, July 12, a water rescue took place in Halifax in the area of Ridge Road and Lantern Lane. Retired priest and Halifax resident Father Bill Williams had taken his kayak out on East Monponsett Pond and ended up capsizing due to the extremely windy conditions. His cries were heard by local resident Alexandria Davis who wasted no time jumping in her kayak despite her broken oar. Davis was able to reach Williams and hold him until further help could arrive. Luckily for Williams and Davis, Amanda and John Moe also heard the cries for help and were able to get in their kayak and assist them ashore.
The Halifax Police and Fire Departments were called and responded to the reports of a person in the water, not breathing. The Fire Department was already involved in another medical emergency in town which led to an “all call” for all available responders to report to the scene. A backup ambulance as well as a boat were dispatched and were able to locate the victim after traveling to several local addresses trying to find him. The victim was being pulled ashore just as emergency services arrived at the scene. After receiving treatment on the scene by emergency responders, Father Williams regained full consciousness and was brought to Beth Israel in Plymouth.
Interim Fire Chief Jeffrey Cuozzo attended the Halifax Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, July 26 along with Father Williams and Davis and some of her family members. Cuozzo told the Selectmen, “There’s a lot of stories in Halifax, but this one in particular is kind of nice and unfortunately in this day and age it’s always nice to have a really good story and this is it.”
He continued, “It’s a windy day but Father Williams being retired, he’s like, I want to go out on the lake in the kayak, so he goes out on the lake by himself… just picture him on the lake in the kayak enjoying himself with a paddle saying this is great, this is God’s work, right. Well, the waves were getting worse, getting bigger and Father Williams goes overboard.” Cuozzo said that Williams, who was without a life jacket, was about 20 feet from shore at the time. Cuozzo said that Williams asked himself in that moment, “I wonder if this is how it ends.” Cuozzo and Davis jokingly ribbed Williams for yelling “Hello!” rather than the traditional “Help!” This admission was met with laughter from those in the Selectmen’s meeting including Williams himself.
Cuozzo said that Davis had luckily taken that day off from work and lived close enough to hear Williams’ cries. “She rushed down and sees him pretty much bobbing in the water. She gets her kayak, goes out, grabs him… and is literally holding him up – it’s just her on the kayak by herself and I think one of her paddles breaks,” Cuozzo said. “That’s where Amanda and John Moe… I think came to the rescue. They went out on their kayaks, grabbed Allie and the Father, who was pretty much unresponsive now. He was pale blue,” he continued. Cuozzo turned to Williams and said, “What did you say in the ambulance?” Williams said, “I was trying to learn to walk on water.” This was met with more laughter.
“In all seriousness,” Cuozzo said, “If Allie didn’t initiate that save, he would have died.” Cuozzo then went on to thank his staff as well. He then presented Davis with a Citizen Hero Award. Cuozzo said that he had the same award to give to both Amanda and John Moe as well though they weren’t present at the Selectmen’s meeting.
“Great job, awesome story,” Selectman Jonathan Selig said.