Darcy Foley was checking his oyster gear, alone on his fishing boat along the Foxley River earlier this week, when he fell in.
On Tuesday, the 46-year-old man from Northport, near Alberton, had one hand on the motor when he bent down too far, lost his grip and went overboard.
"My hand came off the handle and the motor went sideways and swung the boat around and when it did it almost stopped the boat and pelted me out over the side," he told CBC's Wayne Thibodeau on Friday.
His 18-foot aluminum boat was stuck in full throttle, spinning in circles, and running over him, he said.
That's when he started to panic.
Foley said the boat kept hitting him and the blades of the motor were about six inches from his face, so he swam as hard as he could and tried to capture the attention of the people on a boat he saw nearby, while fighting the added weight of his soaked jeans and T-shirt.
"I thought I was done," he said.
"I didn't think I was going to make it ashore, so I'm like, 'is somebody going to find me floating face first out here?'"
He was not wearing a life jacket at the time.
Foley could see the other lone boat moving toward him and felt a sense of relief, he said, although he was experiencing shock and his memory of the incident is foggy.
Jim Jeffery of Cascumpec and his family were out for a boat ride at approximately 5 p.m. His sister was driving their boat when they spotted a small boat spinning out of control.
"My sister yelled out to her husband to get the binoculars that we had on board and he looked and said, 'there's nobody in the boat,' and then he looked down and there was a fishermen in the water, which kind of shocked all of us," Jeffery said.
As they got closer, they could hear the person, who they later learned was Foley, crying out for help.
"That's when it really sunk in, and the seriousness of it," Jeffery said.
They threw out a line on what seemed like "his last gasp," Jeffery said. They managed to haul him in and wrapped him up in a towel and blankets.
When Jeffery realized who it was, he remembered he had gone to school with Foley's father.
Foley's father, John, drowned when the boat he was in capsized when Foley was only 10 years old.
Foley made it out of the water with some cuts and bruises, narrowly escaping a similar fate as his dad. He was taken to hospital and released without serious injuries.
He said he felt a bit nervous getting back in the boat, but he said he has no choice.
"It's part of the job, right? I was in the boat yesterday. If you're going to fish, you're going to fish," he said.
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