Men swim hours to safety after boat capsizes in central Minnesota

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Two men had a scary encounter during this weekend's storms after their anchored sailboat capsized on Big Kandiyohi Lake.

According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, at about 1:23 a.m. Sunday, officials received a call of a possible overturned sailboat on Big Kandiyohi Lake. The men on board were sleeping when the boat capsized due to storm winds.

The two went into the water below the boat and became separated. One man was able to swim about a mile to the shore where he called for help from a friend. They called 911 and went back out on a pontoon to search for the man.

The other man was able to swim to shore and seek help at another residence. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The two men, Jim Lund and Duane Smith, Jr. were on their way to anchor on the lake when they say they were capsized. 

"People say we were heroes," said Lund. "I'm like, no, maybe we're just stupid." 

Lund says their boat was not ready for the wind and now he's breathing sigh of relief to be home in Franklin, Minn. 

"I wanted to get out and he was dumb enough to come with," said Lund of his friend Smith.  

"We told everybody that came into the store that there was a storm coming," said Gaborick Bolstad, a Kandiyohi County Park employee. 

Bolstad said he knew Sunday's early morning storms would given anyone on the lake a run for their money. 

"Talking to them earlier, we told them to pull up here on shore and spend the night here on shore," he said. 

Instead, Smith and Lund made their wya towards the island. 

"We were trying to get to one spot to tie down and we would've been great," Lund added. 

"I was sitting on the boat still when it went under and he helped me get out from under," Smith said. "I'm not that great of a swimmer. I've had my knee replaced, had a lot of physical issues and I don't think I could've made it." 

"I had it in my head I have to get somewhere, to get somebody to look for him," said Lund after the two were seperated by winds. 

Lund ended up getting Smith's brother and his pontoon boat to look for him. 

The men said they spent at least three hours to swim to shore. Now, their friendship is secured like never before. 

Smith and Lund say they're going to get new life jackets and take a break from sailing. They also plan to stay home during any upcoming storms in the Franlkin area.