EXCLUSIVE: Members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club speak on capsize incident in Westport

The team says they were out for practice when their boat capsized in Westport.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Jun 18, 2024, 9:01 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club exclusively spoke to News 12 about being rescued from Long Island Sound in March.
The team says they had gone out for a practice, but within minutes, water conditions changed and 27 rowers, a coach and several row shells went under.
They recall it as “frightening” and “scary.”
News 12 was on the scene as parents arrived at the Saugatuck Rowing and Fitness Club to pick up their children.
"It was a little scary…being out on the Sound,” said Daniel Lee, of the Saugatuck Rowing Club.
Lee was one of two students sent to the hospital with hyperthermia.
"I had to wait on the sinking launch for a little while,” said Lee.
Although it was scary for many of the rowers, none of them bowed out from the sport.
"I mean, I was ready the next day, it didn't really affect me that much,” said Lee.
"I wanted to keep rowing. I love rowing,” said Will Shockley, of the Saugatuck Rowing Club.
"It was pretty natural. All the guys that are here really want to do this, so getting back in the boat there wasn't a doubt in our minds,” said Davis Evans, of the Saugatuck Rowing Club.
Moses Lewis and Campbell Cohen said the team made sure to support and push each other through it all.
"Teamwork makes the dreamwork,” said Aidan Montenegro, of the Saugatuck Rowing Club.
The team continued to push each other outside of the water, so much so that they placed seventh at Nationals. Now, they have the chance of a lifetime to go to the Royal Henley race in England.
It's the first time the club is able compete in the most prestigious regatta in the world.
However, they can't get there alone. They are in need of donations to help to push them over the pond.
"We're looking for $40,000. So far, we've raised $15,000...about 15% to 20% {of members] are on scholarship here. It's an expensive sport,” said Dave Grossman, the boy's head coach and director of the Saugatuck Rowing Club.
They are set to leave June 23, where they'll face off against some of the best rowers in the world.
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