Trouble nearly turns tragic

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JULY 26 -- An engaged Montana couple and the woman’s 4-year-old son nearly died last week after spending several hours in OceanLake in central Wyoming.

When their boat’s engine wouldn’t start at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday the couple and the boy decided to jump overboard to swim about 100 yards to shore, Montana’s Billings Gazette newspaper reported. Shortly after leaving the boat, the wind kicked up and the water became choppy, the report says. The three were pushed toward the middle of the lake and were unable to get back to the boat.

The woman, who is six months pregnant, became separated from her son and fiancé, and swam toward the light of a home she saw on shore, the news report says. Once on land she alerted authorities, who dispatched a rescue team to search for the man and the boy.

At about 2 a.m. Friday searchers found the boy and the man, and said the pair nearly didn’t survive. The boy was “stiff with cold,” according to the report, and couldn’t speak and was having seizures that rescuers attributed to hypothermia. Three rescuers were needed to lift the exhausted man from the water and into a rescue boat.

The boy was taken to an area hospital where his body temperature was recorded at 87 degrees, the report says. Hospital staff applied warm saline bags to the boy’s body and he eventually recovered.

— Jason Fell