Utah Doctor Dies Trying To Save Three Drowning Children

Father Dies Heroically Trying To Save His Two Daughters From Capsized Boat On Utah Lake, Four Drown

A Utah physician, Dr. Lance Capener, died along with his two daughters and their friend after his boat capsized on Bear Lake. The doctor is being hailed a hero as relatives say the man made it to shore but swam back into the frigid waters in an attempt to save the three children still struggling in the lake. Capener’s wife and two other teenage girls were also thrown into the cold waters as large waves and wind capsized the boat on the lake that is located about 120 miles north of Salt Lake City but made it to shore.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Dr. Lance Capener was likely trying to rescue his two young daughters, Kelsey, 13, and Kilee, 7, when he drown. Lance made it to shore but went back into the water to rescue his two daughters and their friend, 13-year-old Siera K. Hadley. The report indicates that seven people were aboard the doomed boat on Utah’s Bear Lake when the accident occurred. Dr. Capener, his wife Kathryn Stockdale Capener, their two daughters and three young friends were on the boat. Fortunately, Capener’s wife and two of the teens, 14-year-old Tiffany Stoker and 14-year-old Tylinn Tilley, were able to survive the horrific series of events. However, the trio suffered from hypothermia.

Mike Wahlberg, fire chief in nearby Garden City, Utah, says that conditions on the lake were some of the worst he has ever seen. The chief called them “about as extreme as it gets.” The Bear Lake waters were just 53 degrees, cold enough to kill a person from hypothermia in just an hour.

“If you’re in that water, you could be dead within an hour, half an hour even. It’s a bad deal for you, and it can be hard to survive.”

According to the Daily Mail, there were 10-foot waves and strong winds that hampered the rescue efforts. The rescuers say that the father and the three young girls were in the water for about three hours before their bodies were recovered.

Pauline Capener, Dr. Lance Capener’s mother, says that she was told about her son’s heroic efforts after his death. Pauline says that her son made it to shore with his wife but returned to the water in an attempt to save the children still stuck in the water.

“Lance is a marathoner. He was very strong and a good swimmer. But that’s a very bad lake; it can come up with squalls. We really don’t know all of it. Maybe after a while when Kathy is able to talk to us and get past the worst of it, we will know more.”

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