NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Authorities are searching for a possible person who has disappeared in the Connecticut River in Northampton.
Easthampton Police are assisting and told Western Mass News that they received reports that a pontoon boat may have struck a swimmer in the river and the swimmer had disappeared.
“When the boat went over, the boat slowed down. All of a sudden it seemed what looked to me like a head,” said Jeff Djordy who saw the boat hit something. “People were trying to tell me it was a log or something like that. I know what I saw. And then all of a sudden, it started to sink. Then it was gone.”
Crews started searching for a potential missing person about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. They stopped the search at 8 p.m. Officials said they haven't found anything yet.
They noted that Mass. State Police are sending a helicopter to assist and Northampton Fire has put a dive team in the water.
"We all heard a thud," a bystander said. "Something definitely got hit. My friend was in a panic and he's yelling at the boat, 'Stop, stop, stop.' The boat did stop, but then it proceeded to want to go again. I'm unsure they even realized that they hit something."
"We were fishing and my sister goes, 'Oh my god, the guy is going to get hit.' And I look up and she says, 'Oh my god he's going to get hit.' The boat goes *thump* and he goes under.," another bystander said.
Just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, reports went out that a boat hit a person swimming in the Connecticut River. When the boat hit something, witnesses said there was a loud thud.
“‘Cause it wasn’t like a log. It wasn’t like a log hitting,” Djordy said, “It was like a hit, but was like just a propeller because it was a pontoon boat. It went under the pontoon boat and hit the motor part of it.”
From there, Northampton Police and Fire, Easthampton Police along with a State Police helicopter and dive team all assisted in the search. Authorities don’t have anything confirmed yet.
“We’re going to treat it like we do have a swimmer that’s in there,” Northampton Fire Chief John Davine said. “We’re going to do our due diligence and do a good thorough search.”
Tuesday’s search was a joint effort. Davine said they’re going to continue it Wednesday morning.
Western Mass News has a crew heading to the scene and will have more information as it becomes available.