OSKALOOSA, Kan. (KSNT) – Amanda Smallwood was fishing with her family at Lake Perry when their boat stopped working and began taking on water.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said life jackets helped them stay safe as they waited five hours to be rescued.
“One of my biggest fears is drowning, or being on a boat that sinks,” said Smallwood.
Her nightmare started when she, her boyfriend, her 3-year-old son, and a family friend went fishing around 7 at night.
When they started their journey back home, they noticed their battery cables burned a hole in the battery. The crew tried to paddle to shore but ended up getting stuck in a tree and the boat began taking on water.
Amanda’s friend decided to swim to shore to get help but after five hours, they began to fear the worst.
“We thought he had drowned cause we hadn’t heard anything it had been so long and yelling wasn’t getting anywhere,” said Smallwood.
To make things worse, Smallwood is blind, so her boyfriend didn’t want to leave her alone and try to swim to shore. Eventually, Smallwood’s friend made it to shore and told first responders where to go.
“It was probably pretty harrowing for the adults on board because they didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Deputy Tom Ryan.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said the family was well prepared but Deputy Ryan recommends telling people if you plan to be out on the water so they know if you are running late.