NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin boaters managed to rescue a man floating in Lake Sam Rayburn after his boat overturned while he was installing trot lines Tuesday morning.
Rusty Correll, who lives off the shores of the lake in the Etoile area, said the water was perfectly calm when he was putting in trot lines about a half-mile off the shore. He said a large swell came up and flipped his flat-bottom boat. Correll, who was wearing two life jackets, tried to flip the boat back over, but there was too much water in it, he said.
"All of a sudden, this big swell came and there was water all in the boat. There was nothing, nothing I can do. After that wave came by, there wasn't another wave," said Correll.
Correll decided to try to swim to the shore but quickly tired. That was when he decided to float in the lake and wait for someone to help him.
A group of boaters from Lufkin eventually came into the area and were able to pull him into their boat.
"This is our first water rescue for this year," said Etoile VFD Assistant Chief Doug Erby, "We did nine last year. Of course, we're not in the peak season yet."
Correll estimated he was in the water for about 35 minutes.
Etoile VFD and officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife responded to the scene around 9:40 a.m. after the overturned boat was reported.
Game wardens want to make sure boaters follow the law and safety advisories.
The Fourth of July weekend is approaching, and now is no better time to review lake safety guidelines.