Couple remembers near fatal boat accident - - Jackson, MS

Couple remembers near fatal boat accident

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

What started as a quiet day on the water with the grandkids quickly turned into a split-second, life-altering decision that almost cost one Madison man his life. 

"This was not a new event for him," said Ann Smith remembering the day that her husband almost lost his life.

Dan Smith and his wife were getting ready to take theif grandchildren for a boat ride when the accident happened.

"One thing led to another, and the boat tipped severely to the side I was on and I rolled out of the boat and got struck by the propeller while the motor was on," he said. 

Smith hadn't turned on the boat's kill switch, which attaches to the driver's belt and shuts the boat's engine off. 

"All I was doing was launching the boat and gonna come back and pick them up," said Dan. "It's one of those things, it's like wearing a seatbelt ir you're only going to the store.'

Smith's wife, Ann saw it happen.

"We actually watched him roll out. It was pretty scary," she said. 

Smith says, he was able to make his way back to shore.

"I already recognized the extent of my injury and I really felt that God was going to take me home," he said.

UMMC's Air Care was called, they are the state's most advanced medical helicopter transport.

"Air Care, oh my," said Ann Smith. "I see Air Care flying and I know they are going to save someone's life." 

Smith was taken to UMMC, the state's only Level 1 trauma center. He needed not one, but two vents in order to breathe. 

"From the time I got to the dock here and talked to my wife, that was the last thing I remember until about a month later," said Dan.

It's been a year now since the accident happened. 

"I still get on the boat and I've gone fishing," he said. 

And each day on the water he is reminded of what could have been.

"Every time I get on it I connect the switch on my belt and I make sure that my son does the same," Dan said. 

"Put your kill switch on, and abide by the boating rules, Ann said emphatically. "I don't care if you're docking. You keep that kill switch on."

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