Pontoon owner helps rescue man from capsized boat

A pontoon owner and his neighbor helped bring a man to safety Monday after his boat capsized near Paynesville.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office says it received a call about a capsized boat and a person floating near it on Rice Lake just after 4 p.m.

According to the sheriff’s office, the caller then talked to his neighbor, who used his pontoon to help the boater and pull the capsized boat to shore.

The 66-year-old boat owner said the wind created large waves that started filling the back of his boat and the motor stopped working. While the man had an inflatable floatation device, it didn’t auto-inflate and he had some trouble finding the inflation cord. However, he eventually did inflate the device and was able to call 911.

The man said he was in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before the pontoon owner arrived to help. The victim was cold but otherwise uninjured.