NorthEndWaterfront.com reports on a soused swimmer who evaded the dozen or so rescue craft that went in search of him when he jumped into Boston Harbor, then climbed out and ran away.
It is illegal to swim in the harbor?
Interference with navigation?
But in any case, I would guess the firefighters were trying to get him out for his own safety - swimming in the harbor at night under the influence doesn't seem to be the smartest of things.
I have some friends who tried to make the swim one evening across the harbor. They were doing pretty well, but they were still ordered out of the water by the staties, who gave them a ride to shore. No charges were filed, but they were warned not to do it again.
When this call came in, the man was reported to be in distress, and had been seen clinging to the side of a boat attempting, and failing, to climb aboard.
In the daytime, I've gone for a dip on the back side of the Moakley, near the ICA (when there wasn't a big dock there), and was none the worse for wear, and no one showed up to rescue me.
A bad idea.
It's not a lake, and at certain times the tides can cause strong tidal currents that could get a person in trouble. Specially where there's boat traffic.
Illegal? Probably not.
Also, most people are very poor judges of how far they can swim, especially when drunk.
Government interference. And they'll say it's for Public Safety.