Boaters recount jumping in to save woman in Pineview Reservoir: ‘I thought she was dead’

Local News

WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The woman floated, unresponsive and alone, on the blue waters of Pineview Reservoir.

It was late afternoon, last weekend, when a group of boaters saw a jet ski sinking, 30 yards away, a woman floating with her face to the sky.

“We’re yelling at her from the boat, and she doesn’t respond,” said Zander Caffall, who was on the boat.

That’s when he jumped in and swam toward her. Initially, she responded, saying she couldn’t feel her legs.

“It was probably 30 seconds after that she went unconscious, wasn’t breathing. I tried to find a pulse, but I couldn’t find one,”  said Caffall.

As nearby boats pushed rolling waves across the water, Caffall did what he could to help.

“A boat could have hit her easily,” said Caffall.

But a boat didn’t hit her, likely thanks to his presence. In the meantime, he did his best to keep her neck above water while holding her legs up at the same time.

“I don’t know if her back is broke, her leg is broke,” said Caffall.

He said 15 to 20 minutes went by before first responders arrived, who took her by helicopter to the hospital.

It’s unclear exactly what caused the accident, but Caffall said he is traumatized by the experience. He’s spoken to her siblings in the last week, and they tell him that the woman’s condition is improving.

He knows that sharing his story might encourage those who hear it to be cautious on the water.

“It’s just super sad,” said Caffall.

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