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Priests on floating bar save man drowning in lake

/ 05:55 PM September 08, 2020
Floating bar, priests

The floating tiki bar (Image: Facebook/Tiki Tours)

Priests on a floating tiki bar rescued a man, who is a drug counselor and recovering addict, from drowning in a lake in Albany, USA.

Jimmy Macdonald, who is also a former amateur boxer, was kayaking on the lake last month when the incident happened, as per Glens Falls Living on Aug. 26.

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Macdonald was meditating and taking photos when he suddenly drifted from his family, who were in their own kayaks.

“My wife and two stepkids had taken kayaks out, and I didn’t think I needed the life vest so I kept it in the boat,” he was quoted as saying.

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When he tried approaching his family, his kayak tipped over. Macdonald also noted that the water was “kind of rough that day.”

“A couple of people went by me and asked if I needed help, but I had too much pride to ask for help,” he admitted. “But then I realized the shore was too far away and I didn’t have any confidence that I would get to shore.”

He then continued to hold onto his boat while trying to stay afloat and keep his new $1,400 (P68,000) cellphone dry.

“I thought I was going to die. I was absolutely powerless and wished I had asked for help earlier. I was waving my hand and asked God to please help me,” Macdonald said in the report.

Moments after, he saw a floating Tiki bar nearby and started screaming for help. It was the captain of the bar who first spotted Macdonald.

“I noticed the paddle about 20 feet from the kayak. There was a strong south wind, and I blew my horn to get his attention,” captain Greg Barrett said. “It looked like he was floundering.”

Barrett also noted that Macdonald’s life preserver was not fitted properly and was “up around his neck.” Upon seeing this, his deckhand Deb Oliveira and four of the seven priests onboard pulled him onto the boat.

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“I was so exhausted, I barely could swim to the boat. Deb grabbed my cellphone and then grabbed my hand, and she and the priests pulled me up,” Macdonald recalled. “They saved my life.”

After getting him on the boat, the priests said a quick prayer for Macdonald.

“Then Jimmy told us he was a recovering heroin addict, so not only was it ironic that he was saved by a Tiki boat, but he was saved by seven priests!” Barrett said in the report. “It was divine intervention!”

Though the priests were enjoying a ride on a floating bar, Macdonald noted that none of them were drinking. Following his rescue, Macdonald likened the incident to his experience of getting sober.

“I’ve since told the story to others that just like getting sober, I couldn’t do it on my own and trying to fix things myself almost cost me my life until I admitted I was powerless and asked for help,” he explained.

Jimmy later urged others to always wear their lifejackets when going on the water and to not go alone.

While Macdonald was rescued from drowning that day, Barrett stated that saving Macdonald also helped him deal with a past trauma of his. Ryan Arcadio /ra

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TAGS: Albany, drowning, drug addict, priests, United States
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