Close Call For Fisherman On Lake Palestine - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/6/06-Jacksonville

Close Call For Fisherman On Lake Palestine

Donny and Bobby were having a good day on the lake. They caught about fifty catfish, but then the weather took a turn for the worse. Donny's son, Donny Hogg, Jr., recounts what happened next.

"The boat was taking on water. The wind had picked up, and the water was beginning to come into the back of the boat. His pump wouldn't pump out the water fast enough," Hogg said.

When the boat flipped over, Bobby crawled on top. Donny, who cannot swim, managed to climb on a cooler.

"He said he was floating there for around two and a half hours. He said they were yelling to each other, yelling for help," Hogg said.

Someone on the banks heard them yelling, and called for help. Smith County Game Warden, Chris Green, says they got to the lake as quickly as they could. Within an hour, they found Donny clinging to a stump.

"He was pretty happy to see us as you would imagine. He had the beginning stages of hypothermia."

Donny was rushed to the hospital. Boats and helicopters continued searching for Bobby, but when the winds worsened, the search was called off. Around one o'clock this morning, Donny was able to tell rescuers where he thought Bobby was, and they gave it one last shot.

"We thought we were probably working a fatality. When we heard the voice, the faint voice through the wind, we said, 'Hey, man! He's alive! Let's go get him!' What a trooper! He was hanging on without a life jacket. He was hanging on to a stump," Green said.

The family says they're so thankful for the workers who were searching for the people they love the most.

"I really wish I knew who they were. I would thank them a lot, but I'm just glad they're really good at what they do, and that they didn't give up," Hogg said.

Donny and Bobby say they will continue to fish, but only from the shore.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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