Skip to main content

Girls swam for hours after deadly boat accident

Two Utah teenage girls survived a deadly boating accident that claimed four lives after they swam for hours, singing songs and shouting prayers as they fought exhaustion, the father of one of the girls said Wednesday.

The group was reported missing at about 6 p.m., around the same time temperatures dropped and the National Weather Service tracked wind gusts of up to 51 mph in nearby Garden City.

High waves filled the boat and turned it over, throwing all seven people on board into the cold water at Bear Lake, which spans more than 112 square miles in Utah and Idaho.

The two lifelong friends decided to try and swim for shore, but the waves that frothed in the wind beat them back. As their energy flagged, they encouraged each other and massaged cramps out of each other's arms and legs.

"They definitely saved each other's lives," one of the surviving girls’ father told ABC News.