Tragedy was narrowly escaped when a man was thrown from his boat into Lake Ida in Douglas County yesterday afternoon.

The 63-year-old, who was not identified by Sheriff’s officials, was tossed when his 200 hp tiller motor handle broke apart while the boat was at speed causing it to make a sharp turn. The operator was not wearing a life jacket but was able to hang on to the boat until help arrived. The water temperature was 54 degrees and the man was in the water for 15 minutes. He was assisted by a passing boater and pulled from the water.

The man was brought to a public access where North Memorial Ambulance conducted an assessment and transported him to the hospital for possible hypothermia. The boat was towed to the access by Water Patrol.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reminds all boaters to wear a life jacket.

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