Photographer with telescope spots man stranded on Charles Island

A man who ventured out to Charles Island Sunday and missed the tide coming back was lucky there was a photographer on land with a long lens to spot him.

Jadon Webb, an area photographer, said it was by luck that he happened to be at Silver Sands State Park taking pictures of distant birds through a very high-powered telescope Sunday.

“I just happened to sweep the telescope by Charles Island [searching for birds], and happened to see a person standing there, waving a sign,” Webb said. “This was so unusual that I watched him for a few minutes.”

The tide was still in, and so the person had no way to walk back, and darkness was coming. After a bit, it became obvious that the person definitely was stranded, Webb said.

Webb called the Milford Police Department, and then the Milford Fire Department sent its rescue boat out to the island.

“The person was rescued by boat about 30 minutes later, just before dark,” Webb said.

The stranded man, who has not been named by authorities, was lucky that Webb had the telescope with him Sunday.

“I almost never go out there, and almost never take pictures through my really large telescope,” Webb said. “If I hadn’t been looking at just the right place and time, no one (including me) would have been able to see this poor person. He was too far to see from shore, even with binoculars. It was an incredibly lucky fluke.”

Fire Department spokesman Greg Carman said the man was stranded on the island a good part of the day. He had walked out on the sandbar, but then the tide came in, leaving him stranded.

There is only a relatively small window of time for making the round trip to Charles Island and back on the sandbar. People on the island need to leave well before the sandbar becomes covered by the incoming tide.

“Engine 1 took our Marine Unit 2 and picked him up, then handed him over to our Rescue 1 to be transported to Milford Hospital for evaluation for hypothermia,” Carman said.

Milford Hospital spokeswoman Karen Kipfer said the man was treated and released Sunday.