Locals Live Through Boat Wreck at Sea - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Locals Live Through Boat Wreck at Sea

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - Three men and one woman from the Tri-Cities are lucky to be alive after their boat capsized off the coast of Washington Sunday.

It was one week ago Thursday that four Tri-Citians kicked off their latest fishing excursion in north western Washington. But on their final day of fishing, their boat overturned in around 50-degree water. Against all odds, the four of them survived.

"We said a lot of prayers together. Please send someone. And they came," said Don Soward.

He, his girlfriend, his best friend and his best friend's son were just a few fish shy of their limit Sunday when the unthinkable happened.

"A wave came over and just flipped us over. Literally rolled the boat over in a second," Soward said.

If it wasn't for Randy Galbadon, Don said the group would not have lasted long.

"Somehow he removed the rubber rail that went all the way around the boat and had us grab ahold of it. Had us kind of lash ourselves to the bottom of the boat," Soward said.

It was that rubber railing and two life jackets that kept two of them alive for the three hours they were stuck at sea. A fellow fisherman said, ironically, the fishing was poor that day. When he was heading home he saw the capsized boat.

"It was really something because there was nobody else out there. We'd seen two boats on their way out that were going back in and that was all. There was nobody else out there," said Paul Seiler.

"When he saw us get out of the truck he just broke down crying. What he said to us, '30 years of fishing out there, we were the best catch he's ever had'," said Soward.

The Coast Guard told Don and his crew in condition like that the average person would have only survived for 20 minutes.
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