Family Rescued From Capsized Boat During Storm On Bear Lake
BEAR LAKE COUNTY, Idaho — A boat carrying 14 people, including 11 children, capsized on Bear Lake Thursday night due to stormy conditions. Luckily, the family was rescued by park rangers after spending some time in the rough water.
They are experienced boaters, but park rangers said waves reached up to six feet that day.
On Friday, the family told KSL-TV they are still shaken, but grateful for what they describe as divine intervention that helped bring them to shore.
When you’ve been in rough water, you know and appreciate the calm.
For the Menlove family, nothing will compare to the rough water they experienced Thursday night.
This is the last photo the Menlove family got of their 2021 Malibu boat before it went under during yesterday’s storm on Bear Lake. All 14 of them—including 11 children—are clinging to a tube, waiting for park rangers to rescue them.
— Matt Rascon KSL (@MattRasconKSL) July 23, 2021
“And very quickly, the lake got very wild,” said Marisha Menlove.
Conditions started out just right.
Marisha Menlove had her 3-year-old twins in her bother-in-law’s new 2021 Malibu boat, with two other adults and seven other children.
They surfed and wakeboarded, but Menlove said she is most thankful they brought the tube with them.
“The wind started to come up, and we thought, ‘Ah, we better get back to the beach,'” she said.
Around 6 p.m., they started heading back to shore for dinner, but they didn’t get very far. Waves crashed and the engine shut off.
That’s when Menlove grabbed her twins and went for the tube.
“To have a storm like that, where the waves are crashing into this huge boat — hitting the driver, knocking people over in the boat — and then to be on this little tube with 10 kids inside and 4 people holding on, how does the tube not capsize? How does it not deflate?” she said.
Menlove expected the boat to drag the tube down with it because they couldn’t get the rope untied, but it came loose on its own.
“We’re just in a water park, rolling with the waves. It was just peaceful,” said Menlove. “Curtis wasn’t scared. I wasn’t scared. The kids didn’t seem scared. It was just like we had this bubble around us keeping us safe.”
After about 15 minutes in the water, park rangers saved them.
Looking back, Menlove believes someone else was also looking out for them.
“He said, ‘I don’t know how that happened,’ but I do. We all know how that happened and we’re grateful. Our family saw a miracle,” she said.
Everyone was wearing life vests, and park rangers stressed how important that was.
“We’ve definitely seen people get stuck out there, and unfortunately, people have lost their lives on this lake,” said Aaron Nelson, the park ranger who came to rescue the family. “I want to make sure that people aren’t only having fun, but that they make it home at the end of the day.”
They managed to pull the boat out of the water Friday, but the tube is missing. Because it helped save them, they’re hoping they can find it.
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