Couple reflects on fiery boat rescue: ‘Could have been such a different outcome’
(CNN) - Frightening moments unfolded in Utah earlier this week as one family moved in to save another when their houseboat went up in flames.
Jake and Courtney Cahoon were on a boat that helped during the rescue on Lake Powell.
Jake Cahoon said they didn’t know if the burning boat could have exploded, but they couldn’t stand by and wait for help.
“As we pull up, it starts getting bigger and bigger, and so that’s why I’m like, ‘You guys got to jump. You got to get off this boat as soon as you can,’” he explained.
The fire occurred around Navajo Canyon, which is a particularly choppy part of the lake.
Courtney Cahoon watched as Jake Cahoon, his brothers and cousins called out to the other family. Some even jumped in the water themselves to help people onto their boat.
“They have babies with them, so you know at that point, Jake’s dad realized like we have to get as close as we can to get these people onto our boat,” Courtney Cahoon said. “But in the channel, the water is really rough.”
The dramatic rescue was caught on camera.
“They still had to swim 20 or 30 feet in the choppy water, so they were exhausted by the time they got to our ski boat,” Jake Cahoon said.
He added one of the passengers even went under a few times just as he reached their boat, apparently out of breath.
Another boater and a ranger boat also helped pull some of the other family members out of the water.
“It could have been such a different outcome,” Courtney Cahoon said. “I think it’s so important to just be there for each other, check in on each other.”
The Cahoons said they’re grateful they were there and that everyone is OK. They believe if they were in the same situation, someone would have stepped in to help them too.
“After it all ended and we all went back to our houseboat, we were teary-eyed and just like grateful everyone was OK,” Courntney Cahoon added. “So yeah, it was crazy, but I’m so glad for the outcome that it was.”
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