“I planned to go out for a couple of hours on the Little River,” said Ast. “Somehow, I got lost and went up the Muddy Fork. Because we hadn’t had much rain, some of the trees had fallen into the water and I was trapped. I tried to get out, but I had a heavy, 16-foot boat. When I ran the boat over a tree, it tore the prop. I tried to keep going, but ran out of gas.”
Lost on the Muddy Fork in midday June heat, Ast used his trolling motor to continue to try to find his way out of the Muddy Fork. The underwater hazards of trees damaged his boat a second time, tearing the trolling motor from the mounting clamps.
“I mounted the trolling motor on the back of the boat, but its battery died. Then I ran it off the main battery for a while. It was around 8 p.m. and I was hopelessly lost,” said Ast. “All that I had left was some raw chicken liver and some melted Velveeta cheese. I hadn’t seen another boat all day. At that point, I got the paddle out. I’d been using the back-up motor but was stuck in the mud.”
By dusk, Ast said that he realized that he returned to the familiar channel of the little river, but saw no farms or houses on the banks. He considered going to shore for help, but feared collecting ticks. Mosquitoes began to swarm.
“I lost one fishing rod, and tore up another. At around 8:30, I began to pray. My wife had inadvertently taken the cell phone,” said Ast. “It was about that time that Trigg County Search and Rescue showed up on a boat. They asked if I was lost, and said, “We are too.” I told them to go down the river and take a right.” At that point, the Rescue Squad provided a tow to Ast and followed his directions home. Ast added that he learned that a few rescue boats encountered trees.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.