Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman says a personal flotation device saved his life in a boat crash in northern Minnesota this weekend.
Coleman said in a Facebook post Sunday night that he was fishing on Lake Ada on Saturday east of Park Rapids when another boat approached at high speed, the other operator distracted by fishing gear in the boat. Coleman said the other boat hit his broadside and hurtled over the gunwale of his boat.
Coleman said he leapt into the water moments before the crash that damaged the side of his boat and broke off the seat where he usually sits, as well as the tiller arm on the outboard motor.
"I was wearing a Cabella's auto- inflate life vest, which I've had for at least 4-5 years. I was praying the cartridge still worked- and it did. I was wearing full fishing gear and boots and surely would have gone under had I not had on a life jacket," Coleman wrote on Facebook.
He said he wasn't hurt, nor were the other boat's operator and two children. Coleman said the kids were also thrown into the water by the crash, but were wearing life jackets.
The 69-year-old former Republican mayor and senator said everyone was shaken, but unhurt. Coleman has been battling lung cancer as well, and said the crash made him appreciate the opportunities he's had all the more.
"I've been worried more about what my next scan at Mayo this week will show, than I was about the chance of something happening to me while fishing on Lake Ada.I continue to put my trust in my Maker-grateful for all the blessings I've had in my life.- and hopeful that I've got more to experience. After all, I've still got a lot of fish to catch," he wrote.