We are presently on our way to California and have stopped for a few nights at a state park in Utah on a reservoir. It is in the foot hills of the mountains and we are presently the only ones in the campground sitting on a bluff overlooking a lake. This morning when we got up it was very windy with winds at 30 to 40 mph so there were white caps on the lake. As we were taking Lily for her morning walk we noticed a canoe on the lake with two people in it. We thought they were crazy because of the wind. We noticed they were struggling a little so we watched for a little but it was so windy we went inside and started breakfast. As I started to cook I looked out the window and could no longer see the canoe. Joe got out the binoculars and spotted the two individuals in the water. There boat had capsized. We jumped in the truck to find a ranger but could only find a camp host at the boat launch about two miles from our campsite. He got on the phone to call for help and Joe and I took off in the truck down the beach towards where we had seen the two individuals in the water. As we were driving we saw a young boy about 14 yrs old running along the shore. We stopped and he was crying to please help his dad because his dad didn’t have a life jacket. The boy had swum to shore with only shorts and a shirt on but had a life jacket. We wrapped the boy in a blanket and Joe took him back to the boat launch area to try to steal a boat. There was a small boat sitting on shore unattended and he thought he could start the motor and go out in the lake. Thankfully, the motor didn’t start. I was running along the shoreline yelling at the man to hang on (he was clinging to the side of the canoe) because help was coming. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard that he could hang on, that help would get there in time, and Joe wouldn’t be able to start that motor. Because this park was out so far it took, what seemed to us forever, for the rescue team to come. I watched the waves carrying the man and boat to a little tip of land that went out into the lake. I ran out to the tip and tried to yell words of encouragement to him. Finally a ranger came just as the man reached a point in the water that he could stand. We figured he had been in the water for at least a half hour if not more. The ranger took him to a waiting ambulance where both he and the son were checked out. The ranger told us that is was amazing the man made it because of the cold water temperatures.
Joe and I both said our adrenaline was running so high. We both at times wanted to go into the water to help him but knew it would be a bad decision. Joe had an especially hard time because he was with the boy who was watching his dad struggle in the water and the slowness of the rescue team.
An hour later the dad and son stopped by the camper to return a sweatshirt and give us hugs. The boy just hugged and hugged me and kept saying “Thank you, thank you”.
Weather wise the day hasn’t got any better. The wind is terrible and we are watching the snow clouds come in but are hearts are warm knowing that we helped save a life today and knowing that young boy still has his dad.
We definitely were at the right place at the right time. Hug those you love!