GREAT SALT LAKE — Four duck hunters walked themselves to safety Friday night after strong winds capsized their boat on the Great Salt Lake.
Unified Police received a call a little after 5 p.m. from the men, who had dragged the partially-submerged, flat-bottom boat onto a rocky island after it swamped.
"The waves got too big and it started coming over the front of the boat," said hunter Clark Allen. "Luckily we could stand."
The men began their trip around 7 a.m. and were wrapping up their trip when the waves hit, hunter Dave Christensen said. The shallow boat quickly flooded. After they called for help, authorities explained the best way for them to get to safety. The men walked more than a mile to Saltair, where first responders were waiting.
Between the darkness, the wind and the massive body of water the men were in, authorities had "some complicated circumstances" on their hands, according to Lt. Justin Hoyal with Unified Police.
The unseasonably warm weather and fact the men wore rubber waiters ensured none of the men got too cold. All of them checked out fine when when given medical exams at Saltiar.
Several agencies responded to the call, including the Department of Natural Resources, Search and Rescue and Unified Police, Hoyal said.
Dave Christensen was on the boat with his son and two friends and said they were able to save their guns and some other gear, but lost their life jackets and the birds they had killed. Though certainly inconvenient, it wasn't a life or death kind of a situation he said.
"I've been in worse situations than that," Christensen said. "That was nothing."