Southbound for Philadelphia, Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 roared down Runway 9 of Boston's Logan International Airport, lifted comfortably into the clear October afternoon, then, a few hundred feet in the air, wheeled suddenly on its left wing and dived to destruction in the cold waters of Winthrop Bay. High over Boston Harbor an inbound pilot barked into his mike: "Tower, an Electra just went into the drink!"
Within minutes the far shore of the bay clogged with curious crowds; traffic eventually backed up all the way to downtown Boston. So many boats swarmed across the water that the rescue operation threatened to become a greater disaster than the crash. As dark fell, a grim collection of bodies, many still strapped in their seats, began to collect on shore. A TV and radio call for skindivers brought hundreds to the scene. Only a few dozen were qualified, but none hesitated to thrash through the black, blinding water while boat propellers churned around them. In the confusion survivors were mistaken for the dead. Civil Defense Director Jerry Wyman uncovered a blanketed body, applied a resuscitator and brought one "dead man" to life.