Boat Sinks, Strands Two Fisherman

The boat Warren Miles and another fisherman were traveling in turned upside down in the middle of Lake Okatibbee after Miles says a plug in the bottom of the boat came loose, flooding the inside and leaving him stranded in the middle of the lake.

"Well, wasn't nothing for me to do then but to put my life jacket on and get up on top of it and call for help," Miles recalls.

It was a while before he says help arrived though, forcing him to grip on to the boat until then, making for a scary few minutes.

"Cause you know, I didn't know what was happening," Miles says. "And didn't know how long it was going to take the people to get here and the part of the boat I was on, it looked like it was sinking on down."

Thankfully, help did arrive and efforts then turned to removing the boat from water which took officials more than an hour to do as the ropes being used to pull the boat in kept snapping.

"Well yeah, that's been a little bit of a challenge," LEMA Director David Sharp admits. "Of course, that's something we can deal with. We'd rather do that a hundred times than have to go out there and pull a body out of the lake."

Shortly after 6:00 Wednesday evening, the boat was out of the water and Miles and the other fisherman were safe and sound. Sharp says while it's good to keep a life jacket on a boat, it's even more important to actually wear it at all times.

"Because you never know when something is going to happen," Sharp points out. "You may hit something or you may hit another boat or a stump. And it's going to be hard to reach over and grab that life jacket when you're tumbling through the boat."


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