Off duty police sergeant, bystander help prevent near drowning

A day on the water nearly turned deadly for Jody Owens.

While at Whippoorwill Lake Family Campground recently, Owens tried to stand up in his kayak to look at some of the fish in the water. In doing so, the boat flipped and Owens submerged under water. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Owens, Cape Girardeau police Sgt. Joey Hann and bystander Ethan Jamieson shared the story recently on Faune Riggin's morning show broadcast on KZIM/KSIM. Riggin was also at the campground that weekend.

Hann was nearby and heard Owens' cries for help. Jamieson reportedly swam the length of two football fields to assist. Owens said he went under water three or four times and nearly gave up.

"I didn't think I was going to make it," Owens said. "I thought about death and life. The water is so much of an easy death. So fast. I thank God for these gentlemen, Mr. Joey, Mr. Ethan, everyone who was out there."

"They were like water angels," Owens said.

Hats off to Jamieson and Hann for their quick and heroic actions to save the life of a young man who is also a father. This story is a reminder of the potential dangers when out on the water. Take precautions whether you're out for a swim, boating, fishing or otherwise engaging in water sports. As Jody Owens now knows, it doesn't take long for an accident on the water to turn deadly. We're thankful that wasn't the ultimate ending to this story.