East Texan recalls rescuing man after boat fire on Caddo Lake

“I just heard ‘he’s drowning.'"
Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 2:29 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - As East Texans take to the waterways to find recreation, a recent incident reminds us of how life can sometimes break down to it’s simplest terms, to help those in trouble.

It happened a little over a week ago at Caddo lake, where one man stepped in to help in a life and death situation.

Kevin Mackey of Harleton was boating with his family on Caddo lake two weekends ago, when a startling life-threatening event unfolded before his eyes.

"We noticed a boat that started smoking. Young man on the boat tried his extinguisher but it didn't help," Kevin says.

Suddenly the boat was in flames, and the passengers jumped into the water. One man in serious trouble.

"I heard someone say 'he's going to drown'. And I look up and I see hands sticking up out of the water. He actually had a life jacket but it went up over his head, and he hit his head on the boat. I dove in, didn't even think about it. It just happened. I just heard he's drowning and saw the hands and swam out to him," he says.

Mackey got the man to another boat where he was pulled out. But it's what happened when they got to shore that he'll always remember.

“Paramedics show up. Check everybody out. He just looks at me, and I said are you okay? He said yes sir, and I asked can I hug you?” says Kevin.

A picture of them both hugging is Mackey's memory.

And for him it's perspective. with all that's going on in this country, the good in people is sometimes lost.

"We share this world, we share this life, we get one chance. Spread the love. Right now we definitely need it," he says.

Mackey has become friends with the Shreveport man he saved, and has been invited to meet the mans family.

The burning boat was a total loss, but everyone got away unharmed.

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