A group from Durango required rescue at Navajo Lake on Monday after a boat capsized from a 6-foot wave during a storm.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said park rangers received a call around 5:30 p.m. from the boat owner who said the battery on his 24-foot jet boat had died, leaving him and a group of 15 other people stranded on the lake, about 2 miles south of the New Mexico border.
A park ranger went out in a patrol boat to retrieve the adrift vessel, which had launched from the Colorado side of Navajo State Park.
After locating the group, the park ranger hooked up the jet boat to his patrol boat. Lewandowski said six people of the group were placed on CPW’s boat and the other 10 were riding on the jet boat as it was being towed back to the marina.
But while en route, a “hellacious storm rolled in with 6-foot waves,” Lewandowski said.
“(Navajo Lake) is so wide open, that when a storm moves in, it can rile up the water in a hurry,” he said. “Conditions went bad really fast.”
A wave swamped the jet boat and capsized it, Lewandowski said, knocking all 10 people into the lake.
The CPW park ranger disconnected the jet boat, and went to recover the people in the water. They then waited out the storm in a nearby cove before going back to the marina.
No one was hurt, Lewandowski said.
On Tuesday, knowing the approximate location of the jet boat, park rangers went back out to find the boat and tow it back in. Lewandowski said the boat is salvageable.
“It’s unfortunate it capsized, but everyone’s safe,” he said. “So the scenario turned out as good as it could under the circumstances.”