MONTEZUMA — Two boaters were pulled out of Grand Lake St. Marys Wednesday afternoon after their sailboat turned over.
Grand Lake St. Marys Park Manager Brian Miller said they two men were out on a small sailboat when it turned onto its side near Safety Island, south of Bayview. One of the men's friends called the state park office to report the incident and Miller, along with the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Montezuma Fire Department and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft responded to the scene.
"One civilian boat took the guys on board as we got there," Miller told The Evening Leader. "They were able to get the boat upright and another civilian boat helped the men pick up their belongings that were floating in the lake."
The Division of Watercraft assisted the men, and the boat, to shore. Miller said the two men made the best out of what could have been a tragic situation.
"There are a few things to learn here," Miller said. "One, they had a cell phone. I don't know if it still works, but it did work long enough for them to make a call. The second is that they both had life jackets on. When I got to the scene, the first thing I did was assess their well being. They said they were getting tired. The life jackets did what they were supposed to do. The men said they were getting muscle fatigue from being out there trying to upright the boat. The other key was that they stayed with the boat — always stay with the boat."
Staying with the boat provides a secure location for boaters in the event the vessel capsizes and gives rescuers an easier target to locate. Miller also credited the civilian boaters for assisting in the situation.
"If you see someone you think is in distress, pull over and check on their well being," Miller said. "It never hurts to check on someone."