Two boats with several people on board each began taking on water near the southern shore of Utah Lake when a storm with high winds and rain swept through the area Friday evening.
Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the boaters called 911 at about 6:10 p.m, reporting that some people were in the shallow water near Lincoln Beach while the storm continued to pound the boats. Once rescuers reached the boaters, however, the storm had calmed and everyone was able to get out of the water safely, Cannon said.
One boat that was holding nine people at the time was filled completely with water by the end of the rescue operation, Cannon said. The two boats were about a quarter of a mile from the shore when the storm hit.
According to Cannon, the boat holding nine people got stuck after some rope got tangled in its propeller. A second boat, with five people inside, went out to help the stranded boaters and attempted to tow them out using the same rope.
Shortly after, however, the rope also tangled in the second boat’s prop, stranding both vessels. Cannon said the boaters were able to get the rope untangled from their boats, but by then the storm had hit and they started taking on water.
Some people got out of the boats and waited out the storm in the waist-deep water. All of the boaters were either wearing or had access to life jackets, Cannon said.