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My friend Bill and I headed out on the lake around 5:15am for a morning duck hunt in my 15'4" Gheenoe with a 8hp kicker. It was about 50 degrees out that morning and the wind was blowing pretty good. We rode for about 20 minutes to an area we were going to try and set up. We were slowly working our way around the area and away from the shore, as the water depth got deeper the waves picked up so I put the bow directly into them. I decided to try and get up on plane and go look for a calmer area.
As I tried to gain speed, I looked back and water was pouring into both sides towards the transom. I looked back and forward and in less than 5 seconds the boat was capsized. Bill was using the decoy bag to float and I was trying to stay on top of the overturned Gheenoe and collect a blind back and dry box we had on board. In the process of attempting to use our phones, they both ended up soaked due to the wind and waves. Once the adrenaline wore off and we realized how cold it really was, we made the decision to activate my ACR PLB. I strapped it to my vest and we then tried to swim towards a shallower area using the decoy bag as a float. Things were very slow going due to all of the cold weather gear we were wearing. Before we knew it, an Osceola County Sheriff helicopter was hovering over us. The helicopter circled a few times then flew away, coming back 5 minutes later followed by a bass boat. The Captain and 3 others on the bass boat pulled us in and ran us to shore where we were met by Sheriff Deputies and EMT services. We were mentally ok but both of our body temps were 91 degrees. We got warmed up, checked out by the EMT's and released.
Thank you ACR!
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