Stranded boaters rescued with Facebook post - WNEM TV 5

Stranded boaters rescued with Facebook post

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Stuck in a boat that had run out of gas, a dead battery, no lights, and no cell phone, a man and his young grandchildren were in a desperate situation.

The sun had already set over Lake Harding and they were sitting targets to be hit by another boat in the dark.  The boater asked that we not reveal his identity.

A concerned relative was expecting them to return much earlier, so she posted an alert on the Neighborhood Watchers group on Facebook, asking if anyone had seen them.

Jon Paul and his friend, J.C. Monk, were about to pull their boat out of the lake when he got a call from his fiance.

"His daughter knew that he had taken the grand kids out and he knew that he wasn't back yet.  She posted that because it had been a couple hours since he had been gone," said Paul.

Within minutes, the message had gotten to the right person at the right time.  Paul said it looked like a dangerous situation.

"He was actually paddling with a ski.  He didn't even have a paddle on the boat.  He paddled out of the main channel with a ski- he got out of the main water so he wouldn't get hit because his lights in the back were not working.  We actually passed him and we were wondering if he was catfishing.  We said to ourselves, 'I'm glad we weren't over there because we would have hit him," said Paul.

It may have been hours before an organized search effort would have tracked down the boat. But with technology and luck, the situation was dealt with in the most efficient way possible and without the use of emergency resources.

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