Different Trip, Different Rescue


Well-Known Member
As I related a few weeks ago, the last night of our July trip we ended up responding to a late night (after dark) mayday for 2 boats that was out of gas; the 2nd boat ran out while towing the first boat that had run out. We delivered 10 gallons of gas and they were off with a very casual "Thanks... See ya, Bye"

Well, the August trip started with a rescue, but what a difference in attitude!!!!.

It was late in the afternoon, we'd just gotten anchored in Cha Bay. Decided to cool off by floating with a cocktail behind the houseboat. Thought I heard a weird electronic noise, looked around, noticed a boat had come around the corner from the direction of Shoot the Chute, but the noise stopped. We figured the other boat was setting up to ski or tube, or maybe just floating in the water like we were.... didn't pay a lot of attention. A bit later I hear the electronic beeps again, and voices- thought I heard "HELP". I shush the guys with me, and we hear Help. We scramble out of the water, and now voices are coming from that other boat, with "Help, Help". We wave and yell, "we're on the way".

Run the 1000 yards or in our speedboat and we're hailed with "You're our saviors! Thank you so much". "Hang on, we're not sure we can help yet - what's the problem?"

They were out of gas. We run a gas can with a few gallons of gas out to them, and tell them to pull up to the back of the houseboat and we'll get them the additional fuel they need. Turns out they had made a wrong turn (OK VERY wrong turn) on the way back from Rainbow to Hole in the Rock. They had actually gone around the corner from Cha toward Desha Canyon. They were taking turns, 2 at a time swimming the boat back toward the main channel.

We figured out what they needed to get back to their houseboat and pumped them up. Their thanks were effusive. They offered to pay for both the gas and for our efforts AND they asked if we were going to be ok with our own gas or if they needed to bring some back the next day. These are the kinds of folks that you feel good about helping.

it's always a adventure!!


New Member
My favorite "Rescue" for me was a few days before took the boat to Deer Creek. Wouldn't start, had a couple with a brand new boat try helping me jump it. Nothing. No big deal, went home put batteries in it.

Fast forward 5 days later. We are at Powell, Taken the houseboat from Bullfrog almost to Rainbow. The next morning the boat is over heating etc... Call Bullfrog get towed back (expensive). The guy in charge of exec services at that time did the tow. Gets me to the doc, puts in a new impellor and I head back down lake the next day. Get to the Escalante to wait on the houseboat, stop the boat, jump in for a swim. A boat comes pulling up to see if I needed help. It was the same people that had tried to help me at Deer Creek a few days earlier!!


Well-Known Member
Had camp set up with 4 cruisers in Last Chance. I was running back to Wahweap on day 2 to pick up some friends with plans to grab them and return to the camp the same day. It was mid afternoon but I had time to make the round trip before dark.... until we didn't. I came across a broke down ski boat in the mouth of Last Chance. Water pump pulley had sheared off, there was no repairs that could be made so I took them in tow to get them back to the marina. Two of the kids (mid 20's) road back in my cruiser to distribute the weight since I was alone.

I realized I'd need to get a slip for the night and return to camp in the morning so I text the people at camp to let them know not to expect me to return.

Got the kids secured back at their houseboat slip and refused offers of cash to pay for the tow and the slip for the night from the parents. Grabbed a courtesy slip and met up with my friends. We got everything secured and went to Exec Services to check in. When asked for the name of my boat I was informed that the slip had already been paid.

We walked out to their houseboat to thank them for covering the slip and ended up staying for dinner and cocktails.. We have met them on the lake numerous times since. Nice people.


Well-Known Member
Love these stories. Two years ago - mid Sept in the middle of the week we were in the main channel about 10 miles south of Halls at 7 am waterskiing with my boys and we rounded a corner and happened upon a wakeboard boat dead in the middle of the channel. There were two occupants sitting in the boat with life jackets on and a large suit case on the floor. They were a recently married couple and it was obvious the bride had been crying and was very nervous. Turns out, her grandmother had passed and they were headed from a down stream houseboat back to bullfrog in order to slip the boat while they drove to the funeral, and had struck a submerged whale trying to navigate in the dark at around 5:30 am. It was in a part of the channel with high vertical walls and nowhere to even attempt swimming to shore and they were afraid the boat was going to sink - hence the tears. Also, it was her fathers brand new boat which made the young man want to cry as well. We towed them back, shared our on the water breakfast with them and got them on their way. Again - they were so grateful and actually smiling by the time we hit the docks. It’s always nice to keep karma happy when given a chance to help others out.


Active Member
1982 my wife and I were going up the S.J. to meet friends camped in Wilson creek. 2 yr old son was with in our 21 foot Kachina .as we rounded the corner to Cha Bay , well you know what I mean.we spotted a lone jet ski waving like crazy on the shore.he was broke down and stressed.back then the S.J. was remote and at full pool. we towed him to their H.B. and all were much gratified. we traveled to our camp just in time for a most amazing monsoon ! the waterfalls were out of this world. more good deeds are needed in this world.
Pray for AMERICA.


I’ve had a few stories from this year.

The first being the week before memorial weekend, when the lake was “open” but ramps were “closed” so traffic on the lake was limited to the boats that were launched before. I decided to go on a loop heading from antelope, through the cut, and then pass Wahweep and head back to antelope. When I was getting to the shallow (no wake) area by the dam I saw someone waving for help, turns out their boat was overheating, with the sun setting they were pretty lucky otherwise I am sure another boat wouldn’t have passed.

Fast forward to the next day, 10-15 mph winds and its pretty chilly. Was heading back to antelope when I came across a solo jet ski’er in Padre Bay. He seemed to be in shock, not being able to answer questions or recall the marina he rented from. Finally I was able to determine he was staying in Page, so I had him follow me back the whole way until I was able to get him back to Wahweep.
While these occurrences seemed like an inconvenience, I am always willing to lend a hand as are most boaters on Powell. It always makes the trip more memorable!


Over the weekend my wife and I were up at sunrise cruising good hope bay looking for boils. Out of the corner of my eye waaaaaay off in the distance I saw someone waving an orange flag from the back of a boat that was on the beach. I figured they were trying to get our attention so I headed over to investigate. Turns out their battery had died the night before while they were looking for a camp site. Luckily they had jumper cables and we got them going. Had to jump them a second time after they lowered their out drive and killed it again. They headed straight for the marina for a battery at that point.


Well-Known Member
Ever rescue Park Rangers? We did LOL.

The head ranger on board made us SWEAR we’d never share this story so the names will be omitted to protect the guilty.

Several years back we were in the 25’ Nordic cruising into Forbidden Canyon around 7:30 am, trying to beat the crowds. With ominous clouds gathering overhead, we rounded a corner to find a pair of rangers near the side of the canyon paddling their boat. With 2 outboards, it was curious why they’d be dead in the water...shouldn’t one serve as backup?

Apparently they had left DR to drop one off at Rainbow for their ‘shift’ at the bridge but neither remembered to check the fuel level...completely dry, two dead engines.

Fortunately we had a 5 gallon can with us. Just as the senior ranger started to pour fuel, it began to rain. By the time he finished the sky was opening up.

Over the years we’d happen across that ranger on visits to Rainbow or DR and he’d always put his index finger to his lips and we both knew exactly what he meant...”The two of you and me know what happened that day and that’s too many people, share this with no one.”
here is one for you. a couple of years ago(maybe three) my wife and i were cooling off in the shade at the mouth of twilite canyon late in the day.been fishing/swimming/eating enjoying the trip. had noticed a USGS 28 footer cruising by up lake with what looked like a couple of sight seers on board,did not think much of it but i remember seeing this.at some time we also saw a park service boat both were seen in the morning.now back to cooling in the shade.been floating there about half hour or so when this ski/pleasure boat came by us going into the canyon,again did not think much of it except it was loaded,turns out twelve people on board most of them were kids and teens three adults one a woman with a baby. in a while they came out of the canyon (again by us)and went about 100 yards or so and the boat quit,they started it back up went about another 100yards or so quit again,this happened two more times they did not start back up.my wife and I agreed if we were going to help now was the time(had about hour or so till sundown.we approached them and offered help.did not know what was wrong so I suggested we pull them across the lake to a beach at the mouth of secret canyon,where in the mean time a house boat and one at a time the USGS boat had landed and then the park service boat so our thought was they would help some how.as we approached the beach(towing the boat with eleven people and a baby) we were greeted by the park service guy waving his arms declaring "this spot is taken" we continued any way as we did not want the spot we wanted help.so cannot recall the entire conversation but some where in it was discussed they(park service guys)could only call DR but they were (by this time closed)and there was nothing they could do as they did not have the right "requasition form"the obvious reply from us(wife and I)should have been "is this where you want to be when Jesus comes but we are not witty enough and had other things on our minds at that point.so we formulated a plan to(at least)tow them to DR where we would separate from the older teens and they could slowly motor into DR while we went on to their houseboat(which was parked at mile 19).by this time it was getting dark and the wind had increased to 15/20 gusting 25 out of the west(more or less direct headwind).on departure from the beach with the officials they did offer us a rope but we already had one of those( still scratching my head on that one)(you know what Ron White might say to that).so we made it(at about 10 pm). these folks were very grateful,we refused money for the effort but had to take them up on the fuel offer did not have much left and they had a big fuel tank on the back( they gave us about 40 gal).so learned some valuable lessons that trip,first the park service is not going to help you or your baby( we try to avoid them at all cost,we don't even go into DR any more all i can say about that is make sure your fire ext. are in date),second it takes a lot of fuel to tow a boat with eleven people and a baby 10 miles and then continue 20 more miles with eight people at low cruise at night with a headwind. third if you are forced into navigating at night on lake powell make sure you have a bright portable light so you can verify your proximity to shore especially close to lighted markers as the are not allways in the right spot,have fun out there and use your heads.


New Member
Early on a freezy November morning our party was moving the houseboat from Oak back toward Wahweap. From the channel we spotted a boatload frantically waving us down and set out in the runabout to help. It turns out they were on their first run in their new 20' boat. Mom, Dad, two young children, and Grandpa. They had launched at Wahweap the day before, the plan was to run to DR, refuel, and head back to Wahweap. A day trip. Unfortunately, no radio, no map, no experience on the lake. They ran almost all the way to Halls before realizing they were lost and had missed DR, then turned around, made it all the way back to the small unnamed bay just to the east of DR, and ran out of fuel. They used a cooler lid to paddle to shore in that little bay. If they had known where they were they could have hiked over the hill to see DR and wave someone down, but unfortunately they spent the night on their boat shivering in freezing temps. We pulled them back to the houseboat, got them warm and gave them a hot breakfast, and towed them into DR. They were extremely grateful, we were glad to be able to help. We gave them a map, advised them to install a radio, and dropped them off at the DR fuel dock.


Active Member
We rescued a boat of 4 people who had made it as far as the Castle Rock cut before their boat died. A very busy spot to be stranded. We towed their 21 ft boat back across Wahweap bay to State line with our 196 Chaparral. Not sure what the problem was. They said the boat had not be on the water in three years. It looked good shape but lots can happen on a lake. They were very thankful and the $20 for gas was much appreciated.