PROVO — Two 17-year-old Bountiful boys were rescued Tuesday after spending about two hours stranded in the middle of Utah Lake.

Shortly after the boys, who are brothers, launched from the American Fork harbor, the personal watercraft they were riding started to malfunction, said Utah County sheriff's deputy Collin Geodon.

A friend who was riding on another personal watercraft returned to shore to get a tow rope, Geodon said. By the time he returned, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the boys were nowhere to be seen. Utah County Search and Rescue received a distress call about 2 p.m.

"It was a beautiful day and then the weather just flipped a switch," he said.

The pilot of a Utah County sheriff's plane spotted the watercraft near the center of the lake, several miles from where the teens had launched it, Geodon said. The pilot guided a crew of Utah Lake State Park rangers to the boys.

"Without the aircraft up there, it really could have been a lot worse," he said. "The water conditions on the lake were just terrible. All the watercraft were really struggling with the high winds."

Waves peaked at nearly 6 feet while the park rangers were pulling the boys from the water, said Ty Hunter, park manager at Utah Lake State Park.

When park rangers reached the boys, they were holding on to the watercraft, Hunter said. They were wearing life jackets.

"Medically they were not in very good shape," he said. "They were very, very cold."

Both boys were transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for symptoms of hypothermia but were otherwise unhurt.


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