Lake Palestine survivor and son detail experience - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Lake Palestine survivor and son detail experience

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The East Texas man who clung to a tree stump for more than 24 hours is listed in good condition Friday night.

Mike Ammons, 61, and, his nephew,  64-year-old Tommy Cook had been out on Lake Palestine all day Wednesday, fishing.

Thursday afternoon, rescue crews found Mike alive.

Cook, unfortunately, did not survive.

James Ammons says his father and his cousin, Tommy Cook were inseparable.

"They fished together. They played washers everyday. Matter of fact, on Halloween, Dad was waiting on me and my wife and kids to come over and he called to make sure he had time to play washers before we even got there with Tommy. It was an everyday event for them to play washers. They were always doing something together," says James.

He says they were doing they loved Wednesday--fishing.

James says around noon, a cold front began to push through and the waves got bigger.

But they stayed and continued to fish.

"Dad told Tommy it was time to leave. Tommy said, 'Yeah, well let's,' according to Dad, Tommy told him lets catch a couple of more fish before we leave and then they had a couple of heavier waves come in and it sunk the back of the boat," James says.

As the boat began to sink, he says together his dad and Tommy fought to stay alive.
     
"He said he did everything he could to help him but. They both had their life jackets on and he said he tried to save him and do what he could for Tommy, but Tommy just couldn't hold on," stated James.

Survivor Mike Ammons says, "There were things that happened between me while he was in the water and I tried to help him all I could 'til he passed, and he didn't drown---I had to let him go after I'm sure he wasn't there anymore."

For Tommy's family, he says it somehow makes it easier that his dad is able to tell what happened out there in the water.

Officials are waiting for Tommy Cook's autopsy results.

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