Thursday, August 13, 2015


As the grandfather began drifting away to an almost certain death, he told his grandson to pray, and then began praying himself.

(Redmond, WA)—Six-year-old Alexander Smith is thankful he and his grandfather are alive today to share about their incredible survival in the frigid waters of Washington's Puget Sound after their kayak capsized super, super, super, fast like." (Photo via KIRO TV)

Both were wearing life jackets when the accident occurred.
The two were subsequently separated for nearly an hour-and-a-half after Alexander's grandfather, 74-year-old Eldon Ross, righted the kayak, but was too exhausted to lift himself in. As he began drifting away, he told his grandson to pray, and then began praying himself.
Several reports quote Alexander as saying, God told me to paddle back." Which he did, even though he had just learned to use a paddle earlier that same day. (Photo via KIRO TV)
Alexander's mother, Jeni Smith, reportedly saw her son nearing shore in the kayak by himself and quickly paddled out to meet him.
When she asked him where his grandpa was, Alexander replied, He's out floating in the water, but grandpa's up in Heaven."
Thankfully, the Coast Guard was immediately alerted and Ross was found before he slipped into eternity.
“We were in a kayak,” said Smith, describing the seconds before they capsized. “I wanted to turn us around, so and I knew how to paddle, then the boat flipped over."
Smith says he held his breath (a lesson he learned from recent swimming lessons) while he was trapped upside down underwater in the seat of the kayak.
“Then my grandpa grabbed me and pulled me out," he said.
Smith’s grandfather, 74-year-old Eldon Ross, tried to climb into the kayak, but the current meant a clear threat of capsizing again— so Ross stayed in the water, aided by his life jacket.
Smith says his grandpa told him to pray, while holding the paddle over his head.
“It's a distress call for people on the beach to see it," Smith explained.
Smith’s mother, Jeni, paddled another kayak to her son when she saw only one person in the boat.
“I couldn't believe when I went out to get him that Alexander was so calm."
“We put a search party out there for Grandpa,” said Alexander Smith.
“I said 'where's Grandpa',” said Jeni Smith, “And he said 'uh, grandpa's body is out there, but Grandpa's in heaven'."
More than 90 minutes later, after the U.S. Coast Guard and Clallam County Search and Rescue team spotted Ross, he was rescued by a hoist into a helicopter.
He is being treated in a Port Angeles hospital for hypothermia and pneumonia.
Ross said that the life jacket helped him keep his head above water so he could relax and float and not struggle.
He was left with one lesson he says he will impart to everyone near water.
“You should wear life jackets every time you go on a boat, that's what I would say," he said.

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