Family rescued after boat capsizes on Lake Billy Chinook

Fisherman praises Jefferson County SO rescuers

Fisherman and family rescued from...

REDMOND, Ore. - A Redmond man and a couple family members were fishing on Lake Billy Chinook Thursday when they were met with fierce winds -- and soon, a test of survival.

"I told my niece and nephew that it was probably a good time to get our life jackets on," boat owner Billy Ing said Friday.

Ing has been out on the lake seven times already this year. But Thursday at about 4 p.m., the wind got the better of their boat.

"Went up a swell and came down the other side, and the boat dug in and water started pouring into the boat," he recalled.

Ing then throttled it toward land, but before he could get there, the boat capsized.

His niece managed to keep her phone above the water, and they were able to call Jefferson County sheriff's deputies, who rushed to the scene and pulled them onto the shore.

"I can't say enough about the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department," Ing said. "You know, if it wasn't for them, we'd probably still be out there."

The boat was recovered Friday, but that was all they pulled up from the lake bottom. All the fishing gear is gone -- but, Ing said, you can't put a price on human life.

No one was injured and everyone got back home safely.

The rescue made for a timely reminder as boating season ramps up: A life jacket just might save your life, or those of your loved ones.

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