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Rescued Fargo boater thought 'Lord, I'm coming to you'

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A man who jumped off his boat to go for a swim Saturday, July 7, said he thought he had died before he was rescued by fellow boaters.

Tracey Powell and Jay Weist of Fargo were boating on Detroit Lake when in the evening the couple decided to take the plunge into the water and swim near their boat.

As soon as they jumped in, the boat quickly moved with the wind.

"It was really windy on Saturday," Weist said in an interview. "It was just a fluke deal. Some of my boat was facing the wind, and it took off like it was running."

After a report to the sheriff's office of an abandoned boat, water patrol officers found Powell struggling to swim 200 yards from shore.

"I said, 'Tracy save yourself,'" Weist said. "I can't do it, so we parted ways."

Fellow boaters found Weist and dragged him through the water to shore, holding onto him.

The boaters told deputies they didn't have the strength to hoist him up onto the boat.

Weist said he had no recollection of the rescue. "I pretty much blacked out."

The last thing he remembers is giving up on life: "I said 'I'm done. I can't go. Lord, I'm coming to you.' I drowned, I died. I woke up in the hospital."

Hours later, Weist did wake up in a hospital bed at St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes.

Weist was later taken to the Becker County Jail.

He said he was held overnight on suspicion of boating under the influence.

Weist was not formally charged with any crimes as of Monday, July 9.

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