Neil Bush Comes to Rescue of Stranded Boaters

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 03:02 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Neil Bush — son of George H.W. Bush and younger brother of George W. Bush — sprang into action Saturday when a pleasure boat with seven people aboard became stranded off the coast of Maine.

Shirley Polinger and her passengers were cruising in the Atlantic ocean, halfway between Kennebunkport and Wells Harbor, when the engine conked out, Polinger told The Portland Press Herald.

As they drifted, Polinger spotted another boat in the distance and flagged it down.
She didn't immediately realize the boat was the Fidelity IV, a 38-foot, fly-fishing vessel owned by former President George H.W. Bush.

"The boat came right over to us and this man resembled George Bush. He was very, very eager to help us," Polinger told The Press Herald. "I was looking at the front of his boat and I saw 'Fidelity IV.' I said, 'Oh my God, it's Bush's boat.'"

Polinger told the newspaper she asked Bush for a knife to borrow so she could check to see if debris was wrapped around the engine propeller.

But Bush wouldn't hear of it.

"He came right on the boat, took off his shirt and went in the water," Polinger told the newspaper. "He felt around the prop, but nothing was wrapped around it. He got out of the water and asked me where I wanted to go."

Bush then attached a line to the stranded boat and towed it into Wells Harbor.

"He was extremely friendly and extremely helpful," Polinger said.

Her boat's propeller may have hit a lobster buoy, officials believe.

Neil Bush — the fourth of six children of George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush — is a businessman and philanthropist who chairs Points of Light, a nonprofit group that promotes volunteerism.

The Fidelity IV was last in the news in July 2010, when it ran aground in heavy fog. Secret Service agents and Bush aides had to wait five hours for the tide to come in before getting it free.

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