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Group escapes houseboat taking on water at Lake Powell

LAKE POWELL, Utah – A group boating at Lake Powell over Memorial Day weekend got a little closer to the water than they anticipated.

Jimmy Rex said he has taken friends and real estate clients to a houseboat on Lake Powell for years. On the most recent trip, the boat started to take on water and the pump wasn’t moving the water out fast enough.

“A wave hit us from one of the big tour boats and the water didn’t go off the boat. That’s when the water started filling up,” Rex said.

Photo courtesy Stephen Kirlew, Bo Winder, Megan Crabtree & Aaron Renfo

The water flooded a bedroom in the lower portion of the boat and threatened to come through a glass door on the main deck.

“That’s when I made sure, like, everyone wears the life jackets, everybody to the back of the boat. I just wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of,” Rex said.

Rex worked to get the boat back to the marina. The U.S. Coast Guard showed up to help people off the boat and take it the rest of the way to the ramp.

“The boat got off with pretty minimal damage, all things considered. We’re going to probably have to… they’re obviously going to have to do some stuff with the carpet in that front bedroom. There’s some electric stuff that got probably messed up a little bit, but I’d be surprised if the boat’s not back on the water in two, three weeks,” Rex said.

Videos that the group shot on the boat have been popular. A compilation of them set to the theme song from “Titanic” has gotten more than 1,500 shares on Rex’s Facebook page. When the time comes, Rex said he would have no hesitation to step on board again.

“Labor Day is the next time I go down and I’ll look forward to it. I’m not too worried about it,” he said.

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