A Jerome family escaped drowning or serious injury after their boat capsized in high winds Friday at Magic Reservoir in southern Blaine County.
Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Monday that results of the accident could have been worse if not for the assistance of a Bellevue resident, 55-year-old April Chizum, who paddled her kayak to the family and helped them make it safely to a shoreline.
“I think she probably made a difference,” Ramsey said. “She saw them struggling and went out and assisted them to the shore.”
The sheriff said the accident happened shortly before noon on Friday when Jonathon R. Baker, 32, his wife Shyla C. Baker, 30, and their three children, a girl age 7 and two boys age 3, were boating on the reservoir.
“They had been out fishing and cruising around and then the wind came up, making the waves choppy and making the boat take water,” Ramsey said. “And then it capsized.”
The sheriff said all three of the children were wearing life jackets, but that neither of the parents were.
He said the accident occurred east of the East Magic Cabin rocky shoreline and that the family was about 50 yards away from land.
Ramsey said Shyla Baker was able to make it to the shore with one of the 3-year-olds, while Chizum, who has a cabin at East Magic, was able to reach Jonathon Baker and the other two children. She took the younger child on board and towed Baker and the other child to the shore.
Once out of the water, onlookers brought the family towels and clothing to help warm them. Ramsey said the three children had symptoms of hypothermia and were transported as a precaution by Wood River Fire and Rescue ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River hospital, where they were treated and released.
Ramsey said the boat, a 1965 blue aluminum vessel with an outboard motor, was not recovered.
Terry Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org