mnko;jbn - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

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Chris Jackson can laugh now, but what he and his fishing buddy went through nearly cost them their lives.  

"Next thing we knew one big wave came and just filled the boat almost up so we had to move to the front and just within 10 or 15 seconds the boat was completely full,"Johnny said.  Their small aluminum bass tracker boat flipped over.  Jackson and his friend Darrell Ethridge, frantically peeled-off their heavy clothes. Unfortunately, they did not have their life jackets... So they had to cling for their lives. "only thing you can do when you're on top of a boat like that no one can hear you yelling so just pray. We did a lot of that." they were stranded in cold waters over 100 yards away. Desperately, chris' friend tried to swim ashore. "he started swimming regularly at first then he started back-stroking... 2:54 "i was cheering him on actually i was like go darrell go!... "an hour in the water hanging on to a boat it was quite a feat just for them to hang on, much less one of them to swim near 100 yards to the shoreline that was a remarkable feat. I don't recommend it, i recommend you staying with the vessel because it's going to float."     fortunatly, a woman heard their cries for help and called 9-1-1. Jackson wants to thank this angel and everyone else who rescued them.      "it really could have been tragic for these guys and their families and friends but lesson learned here." game wardens say every boater needs to keep a life jacket on, know what the weather is forecasted to do, and put your cell phone in a zip-lock bag to keep it dry. Jackson says he's learned his lesson... And is just thankful he's here to tell this story.  "these guys are lucky, very lucky."

Morgan Chesky, Reporting. mchesky@kltv.com

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