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Mason County Mom Shares Story Of Survival After Boat Flips In Choppy Waters

A day on the lake that nearly had a tragic ending.

Three people are okay after their boat flipped over.

Cortni Gallegos, her seven year old son Keith and Mike Ozust were out fishing on Friday.

It quickly became a fight to survive.

They made their way through a channel on Hamlin Lake in Mason County when the wind picked up, flipping the boat.

Mike Ozust was later arrested on suspicion he was drunk while boating.

All three on board managed to survive.

But it was a scary and cold wait for help.

Gusty winds caused the waves to rise.

The Assistant Fire Chief for the Hamlin Township Fire Department tells us the choppy waters were around three feet high.

"It didn’t look that rough when we were coming through that channel it didn’t look that rough at all," Cortni said.

It was her son Keith’s first fishing trip, something weeks in the making. But what started out as a fun day quickly turned to a moment Cortni Gallegos will never forget.

"I heard Mike say Keith go to the front of the boat. Go to your mom and the next thing I know I look down and there’s water coming up. And the boat went from being like this to being like this to going and flipping over like this," Cortni said.

The trio clung to the side of the boat. Cortni held on to Keith’s life jacket, forcing herself to stay calm for her son.

"You gotta kick you gotta breathe and you have to spit that water out, and I kept repeating that and saying to him you aren’t going to die. Because he kept telling me mommy we are going to drown," Cortni said.

Around an hour later help arrived and the three went to the hospital.

"Hypothermia was really starting to set in. The water temperatures are 46 to 50 degrees and the wave conditions were 2 to 3 feet out there," said Thomas Johnson.

Everyone is sore, but safe. And now Cortni is hugging her son a little tighter.

"He did so well. Such a brave little boy. He is," Cortni said.

Deputies ended up arresting Mike Ozust for violating his bond.

He was arrested back in April for drunk driving.

Deputies say they think he showed signs of drinking at the hospital.

Cortni says she didn’t know about the charge and doesn’t believe alcohol was a factor in what happened.

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