Parler Share

Capsized Kayaker Prays for Help Moments Before Tiki Bar of Priests Appears

Parler Share

It sounds like the start of a bad joke: What do you get when you have a bunch of priests on a floating tiki bar?

But that was a real-life situation last week, and the answer is “a bit of a miracle.”

Greg Barrett captains a tiki tour boat on Lake George in New York. His crew on that particular day consisted of Paulist priests and seminarians.

As they sailed around the lake, at some point Barrett noticed a man clinging to an overturned kayak, looking to be in distress.

Watch: Doorbell Camera Captures Jogger, Blissfully Unaware That She's Being Hunted By an Apex Predator

That man was Jimmy MacDonald of Albany. He and his family had come to the lake to enjoy a day out on the water, but as he snapped photos with his new $1,400 phone, he drifted away from the others and soon found himself alone.

The water that day was a little rough, and MacDonald soon found himself turned out of his kayak and working to stay afloat.

He was wearing a life jacket, but it wasn’t secured properly and kept going over his head.

Part of the problem was that he had his new phone in one hand, which left him only one free hand to try to right the kayak and get back in.

Needless to say, he couldn’t do it. Initially, he was too proud to shout for help, but soon he realized how serious his situation was.

“Asking for help sooner would have been a good idea, instead of waiting till it nearly cost me my life,” MacDonald told WNYT-TV in Albany.

“That’s when I said, ‘Alright, I think I might die today. I think this might be it.’ I prayed to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for help.”

The tiki boat captain then spotted him and headed his way.

Officer Follows His Instincts and Saves Autistic Boy Drowning at Bottom of Pond

“Then I look out of the corner of my eye and I see Greg and the tiki bar and they said, ‘Do you need help?’ and I said, ‘Yes, please, please,'” MacDonald recalled. “At that point I was begging for help.”

MacDonald has been seven years sober, so clearly his relationship with alcohol is complicated — but now, it’s even more complicated.

“How funny is it that I’ve been sober for seven years and I get saved by a tiki bar?” he said, not missing the irony.

Barrett called the whole thing “divine intervention,” and one of the priests agreed, adding, “For us, that day, that was our mission — to be present to and to help someone in need.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
Parler Share
Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking