Man shares harrowing story of duck hunters' rescue

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Kenneth Turner swore if he would have been five minutes later, a group of duck hunters would have perished.

Standing alongside his 17-foot Jon boat, Turner let out a sigh.

"It was a rainy day but they had a lucky day," he said of the four duck hunters he helped rescue early Monday morning.

The group of three friends and one hunter's 10-year-old son were out early on Crawford Lake to mark the first day of duck hunting season.

According to investigators, the group's 12-foot Jon boat was overloaded and began to take on water 200 feet from shore. The boat slowly sank, and the owner called his wife, who in turned called a friend for help.

That friend was Kenneth Turner's son. The pair lives just down the road and arrived in minutes.

"I could hear them hollering, little boy crying," he remembered.

Turner was in such a rush, he ended up backing his boat into an oak tree. He said he first rescued a hunter in the water, trying to make it to shore. The others, he said, including the little boy, were hanging onto tree limbs.

"It was bad, very bad," he remembered of the rescue he said took just five minutes.

He said there was not much of a conversation. But Turner did tell them this, "I said, 'I don't know if you boys go to church on Sunday but you need to drive by and say thank you.' It was luck, strictly luck."

After the group was taken by ambulance to Western Baptist for minor injuries, Turner recovered their boat and some of their belongings.

He said he is relieved he will have someone to give it back to.

"I really think five more minutes and they'd been gone."

All those taken to Western Baptist were released by 11 a.m. Monday morning.

Those who responded said no one was wearing a life jacket.

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