Two men rescue Alabama family after boat capsizes


ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WIAT) — A terrifying moment occurred for a Birmingham family visiting Orange Beach this weekend when their boat capsized in the gulf.

A pair of good Samaritans came to their rescue.

The accident happened Saturday near Perdido Pass.

Boat owner Wallace Heck knew something was wrong when his captain abruptly stopped the vessel in the middle of the gulf while returning from a fishing trip with his family.

“He doesn’t do that unless he sees a fish, or something’s happened,” said Heck.

Captain Bo Keough didn’t see a fish, he saw a capsized boat with six people in the water.

All of the victims were wearing life jackets, but an elderly gentleman who couldn’t swim was going into shock.

“Two elders, one who couldn’t swim he was going into shock, we helped him in first,” said Keough.

“You’re always concerned when you see somebody in a capsized boat, even if they have their life jackets on. They could’ve lost contact with the boat, they could have floated around anywhere until somebody found them,” said Heck.

Keough, Heck and others on board the Heck Ya called the Coast Guard then pulled the people to safety.

“They didn’t know whether to be scared or happy, they were just glad to be alive,” said Keough.

The victims told their rescuers they were from Birmingham and were fishing when their vessel started to take on water. Keough and Heck said they don’t consider themselves heroes.

“Not at all, we just did what we were supposed to do, help another human. Help a person in distress, the first thing to do is to help them and worry about the consequences later,” said Heck. “We don’t care about any publicity or glory, we were just glad we were there to help.”

“You’re doing what you should do, I’d hope somebody would do this for me or my family,” said Keough.

Life jackets made a difference in this rescue.

“We might not have been fortunate to have six survivors if they didn’t have their life jackets,” said Keough.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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