Thanks to the quick thinking of a couple good samaritans, four family members are safe and sound after their boat capsized in Lake Poinsett yesterday.
"I was actually in the house working and my neighbor Bob Matze was over taking his lift out, and he saw them in the water so he came over and yelled at me,” says Len Kemnitz who has lived on Lake Poinsett for two years.
That's when Len Kemnitz hopped in his boat and rescued two adults and two 11-year-old cousins hanging on to their capsized boat.
"They were screaming, you could hear them, it was pretty traumatic,” says Kemnitz. “They were totally in panic, totally worn out, they were pretty exhausted.”
The four took off on the south side of the lake and were heading north.
"We had winds 20 to 30 miles easily and that's very dangerous,” says Chief Deputy Tayt Alexander with the Hamlin County Sheriff’s Office.
The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office says the wind was so powerful; it caused the boat to flip over.
"When they got up to the north end of the lake, they started to slow down, the waves were strong enough to actually tip the boat over and put them in the water,” says Chief Deputy Alexander.
"I have a pretty good sized boat and it was tough getting up to them because the waves were pushing me around pretty good,” adds Kemnitz. "Finally we got a rope over to them and pulled them up close to us and could drag them into the boat.”
The Chief Deputy says if it wasn't for the actions of Kemnitz and his neighbor, the family members would have been in the water for at least 30 more minutes before a search and rescue team arrived.
“They did luck out that the neighbors were able to get to their aid,” says Chief Deputy Alexander. “One hour in the water, you can easily start to get into hypothermia.”
"They were pretty cold,” adds Kemnitz. “If you go out and touch the water now, it's very cold. They're lucky, they're very lucky to be here."
All four were transported to a hospital for precautionary measures.
The Chief Deputy says they are doing well.
The two adults were not wearing life vests but the two children were.
The Hamlin County Sheriff's Office says it's not unusual for boaters to be out this time of year.
They say they are called out to at least one capsized boat every year.