A blast of wind overturned a sailboat on Coeur d’Alene Lake Saturday afternoon, but the lone occupant swam to safety at Higgens Point.
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the sailor, 27-year-old Daryl A. Wilder of Coeur d’Alene, told deputies he was unable to maneuver the 16-foot boat in the choppy water.
While he was trying to keep a balky outboard motor running, a gust filled the sail and overturned the boat. A National Weather Service Station on the lake’s north shore was recording winds up to 22 mph around the time of the capsizing at 2:52 p.m.
Although he had a life jacket beside him, the man said he was unable to grab it before he hit the 42-degree water. He made the 300-foot swim to shore without it.
The accident was reported by a passerby on Interstate 90.
Sheriff’s deputies helped retrieve the boat. The upside-down craft was tied up at Higgens Point until the owner can return and right it.