JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- A search was conducted for a man who went missing in Wellington Lake after a boat capsized in high winds Wednesday morning.
The man was on the water with his wife, who was rescued and airlifted to the hospital. By Wednesday afternoon searchers had spent hours combing the water.
“I'm in shock. Wasn’t what I was expecting today,” Wellington Lake Park ranger Randi Clark said.
Clark and Wellington Lake manager Jeanne Sander were in the office when a witness stopped in yelling someone was in the water.
“We only saw one person floating in the water. The canoe was quite a distance away from her,” Sander said.
“She was waving her arms calling for help,” Clark said.
The woman, in her 70s according to Clark, had been treading in the cold and white-capped lake for more than five minutes before rangers could reach her.
“We pulled her out, she was telling us she was nauseous, she couldn’t move and she was in shock, and so we were trying to help her out, get her warm. We had blankets for her,” Clark said.
It was then rescuers learned a second victim had also fallen in.
“She stated, 'My husband’s out there' and we never saw him,” Clark said.
Hours later, there was still no sign of the woman’s 66-year old husband.
“That is the hardest thing because it could have been prevented," Clark said of finding the couple's life jackets in their canoe and not on them.
“I think she was very fortunate and must have had someone looking down on her because she’s in her 70s, and for her to be out there in the water without a jacket or anything and lasting that long in this cold lake is amazing,” Sander said.
The couple came in Tuesday night from Bailey to camp and fish, Sander said.
The woman is being treated at the hospital. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office had officers on scene. West Metro Fire Rescue had a dive team on the water to search for the man.