LITTLE ROCK Ark. (KTHV) -- The hot summer months are upon us and the fourth of July is just around the corner. That means many of you will be spending time out on the lakes and rivers.
THV's Lauren Scott spoke with one man who survived a boating accident; he explains how a day intended for fun, quickly turned into a life or death situation.
"It happens, and it happens in a minute," John Holmes remembers a certain fishing trip from 2005 just like it was yesterday.
"It just pulled the boat out from under us and we hit the water." Holmes and his uncle went out on the Arkansas river to catch some fish.
They trolled out on the river and went to turn on their boat motor, only to find it didn't work. That's when things got scary. The current took them under and pushed them to the face of the dam.
"We didn't know where we were going, because when we finally hit the water we started going down and I thought I done went fishing and was going to drown that day," Holmes says.
But thankfully, they are alive and well. Now Holmes wants to share his story, and hopefully prevent more accidents. He, along with Game and Fish officers, met with families Friday to teach them about boating safety. Captain Stephanie Weatherington stresses the importance of life jackets to all boaters.
"They don't work if you don't wear them. There are so many accidental drowning that could be prevented if they just wore their life jacket," Capt. Weatherington says. And that's something Holmes can attest too. He says now when he goes fishing, he wears his life jacket from start to finish. "It can happen to you, because I never ever thought it would happen to me."
Friday's event also kicks off operation dry water. It's a three day effort to bring awareness about operating a boat under the influence. For tips on how to stay safe this summer click here.