Facebook posts by fathers of girls who survived Bear Lake boating accident

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The fathers of two girls who were hospitalized after an accident on Bear Lake posted the following status updates on Facebook:

Lance Tilley

Ok so I am a Facebook stalker. I read and follow, but rarely comment. BUT sometimes you have to vent and share.

On Monday night, my 13 year old daughter and 2 friends and schoolmates, a friends parents and little sister were aboard a boat. A storm came up with 70mph winds that created 6 foot high waves that filled the boat and eventually capsized. All were wearing life jackets. They were about 3 1/2 miles from shore. The four 13 year old girls tried to swim for help but due to winds, waves and frigid water of 53 degrees they were unsuccessful. Two of my daughter’s best friends (both of which are adorable) her friends 7 year old sister and friends father succumbed to hypothermia.

My daughter, Tylinn, and another friend were pulled out of the water with body temps of 68 degrees. As my daughter and friend saw the light of the sun go down, they thought they were staring death in the face. Search and Rescue drove past as the two screamed for help. Fortunately for us they heard the girls and stabilized them and sent them to Logan Regional Hospital.

A special thanks to the search And rescue and volunteers who found all of them and saved my daughter, her friend, and a deceased friends mother. All three survivors were transported to the hospital where the two girls were treated for severe hypothermia. Another special thanks to Dr. Whitaker, Jon, Tony, and Jake. They were amazing as well as the other staff members.y daughter and her friend are home doing well physically, but emotionally devastated by the loss of these four dear friends. I am struggling too!!

I am so relieved and happy for my daughter but feeling guilty and gut wrenching pain for the loss and suffering of Kathy, Tandi and Gary. What can you possibly say to express the sorrow you feel while breathing a sigh of relief for yourself. It is not fair. I loved these people. Why did it happen? Who knows. We will never know. But I know that prayers are heard and answered but not always the way want or expect, but they are heard and answered. If you doubt the goodness in the world, just look at the love and support from family, friends, neighbors, and yes even complete strangers with different faiths.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the love and kindness. I have witnessed divine interventions, angelic ministering, tender mercies from God, faith and goodness in people, and a bond between friends that cannot ever be broken; not even by death. Thank you Sierra, Kelsey, Kylie and Lance for letting us be part of your mortal journeys on earth. I ask for prayers to be offered in behalf of all those suffering from the loss of these wonderful people.

Jeff Stoker
I was about to sit down and write something as we have had so much outpouring of love and support and questions on how our daughter, Tiffany, was doing and I saw what our dear friend Lance wrote. I don’t think I can say it any better. The “friend” of his daughter is our sweet Tiffany. I am so grateful that Tiffany had Tylinn to be with her. They truly kept each other alive. Again, I can’t express my feelings any better than what Lance already has so I’m sharing his statement. Thank you for everyone’s love and support. Our family is so overwhelmed by grief for the Hadley and Capener families. We love them so much and as Lance said so grateful they are our friends.

I also just wanted to share a little bit about what Tiffany and Tylinn told us about their experience. When the boat first flipped they said they felt as if someone lifted them out of the boat and placed them in the water a safe distance from the boat. They tried to stay close to the boat but the waves kept causing the boat to hit them and hurt them. After some time the four teenage girls thought they could swim to shore to get help.

Two of them decided to stay with the boat, but Tiffany and Tylinn decided to try to make it to shore. They tried swimming toward shore for 3 hours. During that time they truly supported each other. If one started to get down the other would tease or encourage. If one got a cramp in a leg or arm the other would try to massage it and help it. They sang primary songs. They prayed. They said the waves and wind were so loud they literally yelled their prayers so the other could hear their words.

They said they saw lightening coming and they were scared and prayed it wouldn’t hit them and they said the lightening went around them and didn’t come near them. Eventually the winds and water calmed a bit they saw that the sun was about to set. Tiffany said that it was a beautiful sunset but realized that darkness was about to overtake them.

They both were about to give up hope and they were so so tired and that is when they heard the boat and started screaming. The boat heard them and came and rescued them. I am so amazed at their faith, their strength and willingness to try to get to shore to find help for their friends. I am grateful for the search and rescue efforts and all those that cared for my sweet daughter and her friend. I am grateful they were together.

We are also so full of grief for our friends’ losses. I am grateful for the peace and comfort the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to all of us. Grateful for those that are willing to “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that need comfort”. Thank you to everyone for your love and support.