Deputies warn about water dangers after sailboat capsizes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputies warn about water dangers after sailboat capsizes

COEUR D'ALENE, IDAHO - Kootenai County Sheriff's Deputies responded to Coeur d' Alene Lake in the area of Higgen's Point shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday April 3rd to a report of a capsized sailboat with one male subject in the water swimming for shore.

Sheriff officials say, a passerby on I-90 had observed the capsized sailboat and called in to report it.  Deputies from the Recreation Safety Section responded to the area by patrol boat while Dive Team members responded via land directly to Higgen's Point.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with the male operator of the sailboat, 27-year-old Daryl Wilder of Coeur d'Alene, who had successfully swam to shore.  The Wilder said he was having trouble navigating his 16' sailboat through the wind and white caps and tried to use a small outboard motor to get back to the boat launch.  Unfortunately the outboard motor wouldn't stay running and Wilder called his wife and told her he was unable to make it back to the boat launch, asking her to drive to Higgen's Point where he hoped to beach the boat.  The Wilder told deputies a sudden wind gust filled the sail and capsized the small sailboat about 300 feet from shore.  Wilder said his life jacket was right next to him but he was unable to grab it when he went into the water so he just swam to shore.

Marine Deputies took the Wilder back to the sailboat and assisted him in getting it to a dock where it was secured, although still capsized. 

The water depth where this occurred was approximately 70 feet and the temperature was 42 degrees.  The Sheriff's Department say they would like to remind people that having the proper safety equipment on board all vessels is essential to water safety, and that wearing your life jacket this time of year is essential to survival due to the cold water temperature. 

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