After near-death experience, boater is on a push to save lives on Minnesota's lakes

After nearly dying on the water, a lifelong boater in Hennepin County is now behind a push to prevent what happened to him from happening to others.

Jack Doty had hypothermia back in April after he fell off his boat and spent an hour in the cold water of Lake Minnetonka; a near death experience that the 47-year-old will remember for the rest of his life.

"It’s just been hard, but I’m alive and I still get to hug my kids and wife every day," Doty told FOX 9 on Sunday.

On April 23, Doty was testing out a new boat when a wind storm knocked him off balance and threw him into Lake Minnetonka. He was wearing a life jacket, and it saved his life. But without a kill switch installed on his boat, the boat kept on moving without him.

"I realized right there that there’s a real chance I’m not going to make it through this," Doty said.

"The water was 39°, I was in the water about an hour."

About an hour later, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Unit was there, doing everything it could to save Doty’s life.

"It just makes me appreciate those guys so much, they put their life on the line," Doty said.

Now he wants to use his second chance at life to help save the lives of others. He’s raising money via a GoFundMe to buy wireless kill switches, a device that would have stopped his boat’s motor after he fell off, allowing him to swim back to it and climb onboard.

"Rather than a GoFundMe to pay for my funeral, donate to this to get these in as many boats as we can," Doty said. "If you have a boat and you fish this is the best $200 you can spend."

Doty’s goal is to get wireless kill switches on as many boats as possible, particularly for organizations that take veterans fishing.