Swimmer lost at sea in dark for hours rescued

(CNN) – Facing dense fog and limited visibility, rescuers aboard a Coast Guard chopper reeled in the missing swimmer after spotting him in the dark ocean with an infrared camera.

After spending four hours in the waters off Crane’s Beach, Randall Hackett set foot on dry land then falling into the arms of much relieved loved ones. The 58 year old Ipswich man safe and sound, despite a tough search mission.

The marine vessel with the Ipswich Fire Department, one of the many resources used to find the swimmer.

Hackett and his son-in-law went out around 5:30 pm.  Rip tides separated the two, the younger swimmer made it back to shore on his own, but Hackett was reported missing at 7 by family.

“They are experienced swimmers but I would not recommend swimmers. Half hour before nightfall, regardless of their experience level, said Ipswich Fire Chief Greg Gagnon.

The fire chief says Hackett’s wet suit likely helped delay potential hypothermia, with water temperatures in the 60’s, but being in the water in a wet suit probably kept his body heat inside allowed him to maintain buoyancy for a little while.

One of the many factors that helped this search mission end with a happy reunion.

Copyright CNN 2016