Boat sinks, four on boat all survive, credit life vests

By: Shelby Levins Email
By: Shelby Levins Email

LAKE TEXOMA, OK -- The Coast Guard is investigating the sinking of a local fishing guide boat on Lake Texoma. The boat remains on the bottom of the lake, but all four people on-board are alive and well because of the life jackets they were wearing.

Off the shores of Lake Texoma, Wayne McCullough has enjoyed leading fishing trips for almost a decade.

"I carried all the requirements - the type 1 life jackets, I even had the flares - we were in great shape, I thought,” McCullough explained.

McCullough along with three passengers, set out Friday morning in his coast guard inspected boat. The group was fishing while anchored in more than 50 feet of water, when suddenly all four people found themselves treading water.

"I looked up the boat was already upside down or sideways, at that point I knew the boat was sinking. I had no warning, I had half a second, a millisecond," McCullough said.

But he did have type 1 life vests, instead of the common, less buoyant and thinner type 3’s.

Unlike the type three vests that you have you put your arms through, and zip up, the type 1 vests simply slip over your head. Wayne says the vests kept him and his passengers afloat for more than hour, until a passing boat picked them up.

"I just know down deep, if we had been out there for 3 or 4 hours, the normal type 3 jackets would have soaked up the water and we would have drown,” McCullough said.

Coast Guard investigators say the type 1 life jackets were able to help the group survive because by design they keep the person's head above water and face-up.

Wayne admits he wasn't a fan of the new vests initially, but now he says he won't have anything else.

"I griped when I was told I had to buy another $100-200 in life jacket. They're bigger, they're bulkier, they're uncomfortable, but if I ever get another boat, I'll be having type 1s on board, even for myself,” McCullough said.

Coast Guard officials say because many commercial operations on Lake Texoma are not up to federal requirements like McCullough was, they are offering a voluntary examination that is "no blame, no penalty and no fault." Officials say they just want to help boat operators better understand the requirements.

To schedule an examination, call (832) 256-3257 or make a request via email –

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by JP Location: DFW on Jun 21, 2010 at 05:53 PM
    I think people should more commend the guide for saving his clients then sinking the boat. I like how on any story you read everyone would have done this or this could have been done better. I think he did a great job accidents happen
  • by Anonymous on Jun 21, 2010 at 03:59 PM
    GUIDES WIFE-yes guides pay more than the average user (who only pay with taxes) but the average person doesn't MAKE money going to the lake, like the guides do. So guides should not have more or less rights.
  • by guides wife Location: lake texoma on Jun 18, 2010 at 04:51 PM
    We are tax payers to so when you so called guides who think that you can buy a boat go out there and charge people to have a good time fishing and know nothing about what you are doing is stupid. And for Zykdon B we heard the same thing with a twist we heard the he went over board tring to cut it out of the prop when a wave took the boat to the bottom. How stupid can you be to try to cut anchor rope. just cut it and buy another one. 100.00 for a anhor beats the heck out of 60000.00 for new boat and what price do you put on some ones life. The people did not have there life jackets on either when some of the other guides came to help some did not have them on any on at all. People like this are the people who are going to get some one really hurt.
  • by Zyklon B Location: The Voice on Jun 18, 2010 at 02:57 PM
    I heard this idiot was revving his motor forward to try to unhook the weight from the lake bottom, which pulled his boat underwater. Real genius, that feller.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 18, 2010 at 09:52 AM
    You paying insurance premiums for your business, that happens to be on the lake, still doesn't mean you own any part of the lake that tax payers paid for. Sorry.
  • by guides wife Location: lake texoma on Jun 17, 2010 at 02:24 PM
    I am the wife and mother of guides on lake texoma and for theose who say the guides act like they own te lake well here it is we pay out the teeth for insurance permits to guide on the lake. More than just the common every day person who use the lake. My husband has been guiding on the lake for the past 25 years and he has never had any trouble on the like but weekend boaters trying to make a wake to close to the guide boats. When he has a boat load he makes sure that every thing is in porper order. If most of the new comers who think they can guide would take better care of what they are doing things like this would not happen.
  • by Justin Ventatax Location: Earth... Mostly on Jun 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM
    GIO, How would you be knowin how long someone sits at a bar and drinks...either a drunk yourself of a God Forsaken lawman, either way, Get a life!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2010 at 06:44 PM
    GIO what does drinking have to do with this story? And most people have someone sober drive them home.
  • by GIO Location: usa on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I thought it was against the law to drink alcohol and boat,or drive a car ,i still don`t no how all the people at the beer joints(taverns)(clubs),that have been inside one of these places for hours drinking how do they get home ,spell check please
  • by Silverhead Location: OKC on Jun 16, 2010 at 09:45 AM
    I am glad everyone survived and is OK. Life jackets are a real life saver, and everyone should wear them any time the boat is in motion, and have them readily accessable at all other times.
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