(WATERTOWN, Mass.) — David Henneberry’s bullet-riddled boat was the centerpiece of the climactic end to the hunt for the Boston Marathon bomber. Now, more than five months later, the Massachusetts man recently got a new boat, thanks to donations from generous strangers across the country.
“We just recently, two weeks ago, got a used boat,” Henneberry told ABC News. “We did accept [the $50,000 raised] and we did also request that anything over that went to the One Fund. It just seemed right to do.”
The One Fund is the organization created to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
He called the 24-foot boat a “fixer-upper” with the same “sparse” amenities as his previous boat.
“You just want to ramble on you feel so grateful,” Henneberry said. “After such a bad thing happened to us and the people of Boston, it was wonderful to see that. It was humbling. It restores your faith in people. They don’t know me.”
The new boat is named Beth Said Yes for Henneberry’s wife, Beth. The previous boat’s name was Slip Away.
“That’s fitting, isn’t it?” Henneberry said with a laugh. “We decided we’re just going to let Slip Away slip away. It was actually taken by the FBI, but that’s another thing.”
Henneberry was hailed a hero when he discovered suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat in his Watertown, Mass., backyard. He quickly called the cops and in a final standoff on the night of April 19, his boat was riddled with bullet holes.
Within days, online campaigns to buy him a new boat began popping up. Campaigns on Facebook and Crowdtilt combined forces in a fundraising effort called, “Let’s Fix David Henneberry’s Boat (That Got Ruined in the Boston Bomber’s Standoff)!”
Henneberry’s boat was reportedly a 22-foot Seahawk cruiser with a fiberglass hull, which retails for around $50,000. The effort raised $50,597.50 by April 30, when it closed.
Henneberry said that in the week’s following the backyard capture, about 150 postcards, letters and packages poured in with well-wishes and thanks every day.
“One that really touched us was a package we got during this from Pound Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska,” he said. “I think every kid in the school wrote a letter. It’s awesome. Nobody has looked at this without a tear in their eye.”
“If there’s one thing that sums up buying the boat and everything is, the bad guy didn’t win,” he added. “That’s the way we’re looking at it. He didn’t take our passion.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire