KENT COUNTY, Del. (WBOC) - Two duck hunters are very lucky to be alive after their boat capsized Thursday morning in wetlands near Woodland Beach in Kent County.
The water was only 43 degrees when DNREC Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Sr. Cpl. Drew Aydelotte and another officer were on patrol.
Around 9:30, Aydelotte spotted something.
"I could pick out two people and several items floating around," he said. "Within seconds they saw us and started waving to us to get our attention."
The two New Castle Co. men were a long way from land and wouldn't have lasted long in the cold water. The officers' boat was the only one close. Once the officers had the two men out of the water, they made the quick trip to the nearby boat launch to get them back on to dry land.
Cpl. Brian Pollock says there were only a handful of boats out patrolling across the state Thursday morning. This one just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
"For them to come upon one vessel out of hundreds of miles of water is very unlikely," Pollock said.
There are safety lessons for hunters to take away from this accident.
James Walters was out on the water Friday afternoon.
"You've got to be extra careful," said Walters. "Take extra precautions. Don't go ripping out there. Don't overload your boat."
"Make sure you have you life jackets available in your vessel. Always try to wear you life jacket," Pollock said.
Officers like Aydelotte won't always be johnny on the spot.
"In 13 years on the job and working on the water, I've never come across an incident that literally just happened," he said. "I say they are very blessed to be among us today."
After the rescue the officers cited one of the men. They say he had an unplugged shotgun which is illegal in Delaware.
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