Two Utah girls swam for hours after a deadly boating accident that left four others dead.
Tiffany Stoker and Tylinn Tilley, both 13, were on ski boat ride during a summer lake-trip with their friend when a bad storm brewed up on Monday. The high waves filled the boat, causing it to capsize, leaving all seven people on board fighting for their lives in the Bear Lake, which spans more than 112 square miles in Utah and Idaho, according to CBS News.
The storm produced 70 miles-per-hour winds and six-foot waves that tossed the boat around before finally turning it over. Dr. Lance Capener, his daughters Kelsey Capener, 14, and Kylie Capener, 7, and their family friend Siera Hadley, 13, all lost their lives during the accident. Tiffany, Tylinn, and Kathryn Capener, the mother to Kelsey and Kylie, survived.
To stay alive in the 58 degree waters, Tiffany and Tylinn sang songs and shouted prayers to one another. They encouraged each other, massaging each others cramps out of their legs, as they desperately tried to make their way to shore. As night was nearing, the girls felt that all hope was lost, until they saw a rescue boat and were able to scream for help.
“A special thanks to the search And rescue and volunteers who found all of them and saved my daughter, her friend, and a deceased friends mother,” Lance Tilly, Tylinn’s father, said in a statement on Facebook.
According to Lance, when the girls were found, their body temperatures only measured 68 degrees. All three survivors were taken to a nearby hospital and were treated for hypothermia. The doctors believed that the girls wouldn’t have survived much longer in the frigid waters.
“Another special thanks to Dr. Whitaker, Jon, Tony, and Jake. They were amazing as well as the other staff members. My daughter and her friend are home doing well physically, but emotionally devastated by the loss of these four dear friends,” Lance added.
Brett Hadley, Siera’s uncle, said his niece was holding the hands of her friends in the water before a huge wave tore them apart. He said she was the last one to be pulled from the water after the group was reported missing at approximately 6:00 p.m.
“I think she was the last one that they pulled out of the water,” Hadley said. “They told us at the time they were trying to resuscitate her. She passed away before we arrived at the hospital. We were able to go in and see her and tell her goodbye.”
[Photo via Shutterstock]