PEORIA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A birthday celebration got turned on its head last Sunday when Kenny McKenna was out on Lake Pleasant, and it took only seconds for a storm to rip through and capsize his boat.
"So you think you're just a phone call away, like 'hey guys, you know we're stuck out here... can we get a boat to come pick us up, help us, take us over so it's safe?'" he said. "It don't happen like that."
Kenny says when the storm hit, it was fast and furious, 911 calls failed due to lack of service, and event when a nearby boat tried to come to the rescue, the swells were too high and both boats were in serious trouble.
The group was then knocked against the wall of a dam and eventually able to cling to a formation of rocks.
"So I just laid there in the rocks for awhile cause I was hurtin', my daughter ended up breaking her foot, so everybody else made it to the top by the time we made it to the top real slow," McKenna said. "Everybody was there... sheriff's department."
Kenny, who's spent most of his life on a boat, says he's so thankful for the first responders and who he refers to as his "lake family."
MCSO Deputy Pat Gould says planning ahead could prevent disaster before hitting the lake.
"If you're gonna go out on the lake for the weekend, go to Fox News and check your weather with whoever's doing the weather forecast," he said. "There's apps on your phone that you can check upcoming weather that's live. Those are always good to have on hand."
Deputy Gould says if you see the sky suddenly turn, have life jackets out and head for cover.
"If you're in the main bay or a channel where the wind starts to pick up, go find the nearest cove that you can fit in put your bough toward the wind, drop your anchor, put on your life jackets, sit back and relax, wait till it's over," he said.