Anglers Thrown into Icy Waters on Lake Cumberland

Two college anglers are counting their blessings this evening after a mishap on the water today sent them both into the lake. Matthew Meegan and John Nash were out for a day of fishing on Lake Cumberland Jan. 2, 2023, way up the Fishing Creek arm, when a mechanical failure, likely the steering cable breaking, caused the boat to hook and sent both anglers into the icy waters. Unfortunately, they did not have the kill switch hooked up, so the boat continued to circle with steering wheel spinning.

Avid Lake Cumberland angler, Chris Burton, was out for a day of crappie fishing in a nearby cove and saw the spray and heard the noise and hustled over to the commotion.

“To be honest, I was sick to my stomach running across to them,” Burton said. “I heard and saw the water fly when it happened.”

Burton was obviously thinking the worst after an abrupt explosion of water like that, but was relieved to find the two anglers had fished themselves out of the water and up onto the bank. Burton got them covered up in dry warm clothes. Burton’s presence and unseasonably warm conditions today likely kept them from what could have been a very grim outcome.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife was called and the water rescue squad was able to get to the boat and shut down the engine with some slick moves to coral it.

As an angling community, we’re all thankful these young men avoided any real danger, but this is a paramount reminder to always wear your life jackets and kill switch, especially in cold water conditions. This time of year, hypothermia hits in minutes.

You can see Burton’s recount of the morning’s events on his Facebook Page post.