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Priests on floating tiki bar save kayaker

He couldn’t right the boat, and with his life jacket sliding up over his head, he was getting exhausted trying to hang on.
He couldn’t right the boat, and with his life jacket sliding up over his head, he was getting exhausted trying to hang on.(NBC)
Published: Sep. 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT
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LAKE GEORGE, NY (NBC) - It was a choppy afternoon on Lake George.

Jimmy MacDonald, a drug counselor from Albany, went out in rented kayaks with his wife and step-kids.

He went off in his own direction as he was taking pictures and not paying attention. Soon, he’d toppled the kayak and was in trouble.

“My pride and ego told me, ’I’ll figure this out,’” said MacDonald.

He couldn’t right the boat, and with his life jacket sliding up over his head, he was getting exhausted trying to hang on.

“That’s when I said, ‘Alright, I think I might die today. I think this might be it.’ I prayed to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for help.”

Greg Barrett, a captain of the Tiki Tour boat, says Jimmy was hanging on for dear life.

“I definitely do believe it was a bit of a divine intervention,” Barrett said.

The passengers that day weren’t partiers. They were priests and seminarians from the Paulist Fathers Retreat.

MacDonald, a recovering addict, prayed for help and it arrived in the form of priests on a floating bar.

“How funny is it that I’ve been sober for seven years and I get saved by a tiki bar?” said MacDonald.

“For us that day, that was our mission to be present and to help someone in need,” said Chris Malano, Paulist Fathers Seminarian.

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