Weather Forecast


"I said, 'I'm done ... Lord, I'm coming to you.'" Boaters recount near drowning

1 / 2
2 / 2

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—Two boaters who almost drowned are safe and sound, thanks to fellow boaters and water patrol.

Tracey Powell and Jay Weist started boating Saturday afternoon on Detroit Lake.

In the evening, the couple decided to take the plunge into the water and swim near their boat.

As soon as they got in, the boat quickly moved with the wind.

"It was really windy on Saturday," says Weist, recalling the near-death experience.

"It was just a fluke deal. Some of my boat was facing the wind, and it took off like it was running."

As the boat moved further away, deputies with the Becker County Sheriff's Office received reports of an abandoned boat.

Water patrol officers found Powell struggling to swim 200 yards from shore.

"I said, Tracy save yourself," says Weist. "I can't do it, so we parted ways."

Fellow boaters found Weist and dragged him through the water to shore, holding onto him.

The boaters told deputies they didn't have the strength to hoist him up onto the boat.

When WDAY-TV spoke to Weist, he had no recollection of the rescue at all.

"I pretty much blacked out."

The last thing he remembers is giving up on life: "I said I'm done. I can't go. Lord, I'm coming to you. I drowned, I died. I woke up in the hospital."

Hours later, Weist woke up in a hospital bed at St. Mary's Hospital.

Weist was later taken to the Becker County Jail.

He says he was held overnight on suspicion of boating under the influence.

Weist is not formally charged with any crimes as of July 9th.