by DAN MORIARTY and CARL HARTDEGEN
WESTFIELD – Police are investigating a double drowning which claimed the lives of a couple on Hampton Ponds last night.
City police identified the victims as Patricia E. and Daniel L. Cyr of 43 Pequot Point Road. The victims were 61 and 64 years-of-age respectively.
State police investigators, in a written statement, said that the couple were on their boat when their dog jumped into the water. The male victim jumped into the water to rescue the dog and became distressed whereupon the his wife jumped into the water to assist him and also became distressed.
According to witnesses, two jet ski riders heard the woman screaming for help and alerted a nearby boater who pulled the woman from the water and headed toward shore.
One of the jet ski operators located the male victim and jumped into the water to pull him to the surface. A second boater responded and the man was pulled into that boat and was also taken to shore.
Deputy Fire Chief Pat Kane said this morning that the Fire Department received an alarm at 6:25 p.m..
“We got a report of two people in the water in distress,” Kane said. Engine 3 and ambulance 30 from the Southampton Road fire substation were dispatched and were the first to arrive on the scene. Subsequently ambulance 40, the rescue truck and the brush truck towing the department’s Zodiac rescue watercraft were dispatched.
Kane said that when firefighters and paramedics arrived at the Hampton Ponds State Park the female victim was being brought to shore.
“CPR was in progress by civilians (attempting to revive) that victim, who was then transported to the Holyoke Hospital,” Kane said.
The Zodiac intercepted the second civilian boat transporting the male victim.
“A paramedic jumped on board the civilian boat and began attempts to resuscitate that victim who was transported to Noble Hospital,” Kane said.
Det. Daniel Gustafson found the dog which had precipitated the drownings and animal control officer Kerri Francis was summoned to take custody of it.
Francis reports this morning that the female terrier dog is safe at the municipal animal shelter.
The circumstances of the double drowning remain under investigation by state police assigned to the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, state Environmental Police, Westfield Police and Fire departments.