No one injured when boat overturns

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 17, 2015

The quick thinking and unselfish actions of an Eagle Lake couple helped rescue a man whose boat capsized in the middle of Eagle Lake when a strong thunderstorm moved over the lake Friday afternoon.

The man, who was not identified, was not injured.

Richard Murphy and his wife Carol launched their 30-foot, three-pontoon barge soon after they received a call from their daughter-in-law, who heard the broadcast about the man over her scanner.

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Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said a resident on Catfish Alley in the Eagle Lake community called 911 about 4:10 p.m. after they saw the man in the water. He said sheriff’s deputies, Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks agents and Eagle Lake volunteer firefighters were called to the area.

Murphy said he had just come home from work when his wife got the call, and got ready to go out.

“It was raining and windy and the waves were about 5 to 6 feet high. He was a good ways out,” he said. “I heard about the call and knew they needed help. My boat’s big enough to go through those big waves. I’ve done this before. I went out and got two people in January after their boat capsized. They were almost dead by the time we got to them. This man was fine.”

After the Murphys left their pier, they went to Lo-Sto Store, where they were flagged down by Eagle Lake volunteer firefighter Chris Libbey.

“They are the real heroes,” Libbey said. “They went out there in that water and got him. I just went along.”

“Chris knew exactly where he was and got us out there; sometimes it was hard to see because of the waves.” Murphy said. He said the man was hanging on the boat, which had sunk by its stern because of weight of its outboard motor.

By the time the Murphys and Libbey reached him, he said, “the water had calmed and he was able to swim to the boat and use my ladder to get on board.”

The man said he had been fishing when the storm came up, and he was unable to head to shore fast enough.

“There were other people on the lake fishing when the storm came up, but they were able to get in,” Murphy said. “After we picked him up, we took him Lo-Sto, and he got off. He went back later and got his boat.”