Father-son duo rescue family from sinking boat off Gulf Coast


FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WKRG) — A father and son are thankful they were in the right place at the right time when a boat trip turned into a rescue mission.

The conditions were windy and the waters were choppy for a Birmingham family that always comes to the coast for fishing trips, but those conditions lead to a scary encounter and a chance rescue.

It was the last day of a month-long fishing trip, a day one family will never forget.

“God’s timing was perfect,” Jonathan Hall said.

On Oct. 9, Hall and four of his family members went out for one last fishing trip before heading home to Birmingham. They left the Fort Morgan Boat Launch after sunset.

“We weren’t running really fast back 15 MPH; all our lights were on and looking for other boats,” Hall said. “Then my son happened to stand up and screamed cause we thought a large wave was coming, and it wasn’t a wave. It was another boat coming and I cut hard to the right and that boat, fortunately, cut hard to the left.”

After that close call, both boats went their separate ways and the Halls decided to call it and head back to the boat launch, but not before something came on the radio catching their attention.

“By the time we got to the channel, we heard the Coast Guard cover over saying a boat was in distress and taking on water,” Hall said.

Hall turned his boat around headed back to where they saw the father and son originally, and sure enough, he first saw the son in the water waving a flashlight towards them.

“When we got maybe a hundred yards off we saw the son, 26-year-old son floating in the water about 50 yards out, and the dad was hanging onto the front of the boat and the boat was going down pretty quick,” he said.

Their battery had gone out which caused their sunk pump to stop working. The water crept in and the duo only had one life-vest. Once the Hall family got close, Hall’s 14-year-old son Trevor jumped into action.

“Trevor tied a buoy to a rope, and we tossed it out and he was able to grab on and pulled him to the back on the boat and then into the boat and he didn’t get scared, he didn’t get frustrated,” Hall said. “He did exactly what he needed to do, and it was amazing.”

The Coast Guard took the father and son to land. The Halls are just amazed by the timing of it all and how the end to this story could have been much different.

“Everything leading up to that point, if we had been a few seconds we would have missed them completely, and we would have not turned around,” Hall said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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