'God was with us': Lake Mead rangers save 17 boaters
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
Lake Mead rangers saved 17 boaters on Lake Mead after their boats took on water.
One of the survivors, Sergio Hernandez was asked, "Did you think you were going to die? Oh yeah, that was my first thought. Right when I jumped in the water. I just was hoping God get us out of here."
Sergio Hernandez was on a boat with his wife two-year-old son and six other people. The boat started quickly taking on water while on Lake Mead just after one Sunday morning. High winds and choppy water made conditions tough.
"The weather was really nasty. We should have waited a little longer but it was really bad I think it was the weight of the boat," said Hernadez.
Cindy Morales, Sergio's wife remembers jumping into the water as the boat sank.
"Very emotional and it is traumatizing. We are out there on the lake stranded. Gasping for air for two hours," said Morales.
Morales remembers biting her son Arsen's life jacket to keep him above the waves.
"If it was not for my son, I do not think we could have done it," expressed Morales.
Hernandez says he used his waterproof iPhone to call 911.
"I dialed 911, put it in my mouth and tried to talk but I could not. I was scared.
Everyone was scared so I kept telling my wife and friends, 'hey we are in the water.' We are drowning and we have babies," said Hernandez.
Hernandez says in their group, a pregnant mother swam a quarter mile to shore. He says he stayed hopeful Lake Mead rangers would figure out his location.
"It was really challenging. Being it was 2 o'clock in the morning it was pitch black. We also had the winds and the waves at the time. We did not know how many people we are looking for," said Lake Mead Park Ranger Christie Vanover.
Park rangers finally found the submerged boat along with Hernandez, Morales, three babies and three other adults struggling to survive in the water.
"I really do not believe in God that much after that night, however, God was with us. We are blessed," said Hernandez. "We are here today. I am very thankful, God is good and amazing."