CNA Staff, Sep 8, 2020 / 06:07 pm (CNA).- When Jimmy Macdonald found himself floundering in the waters of Lake George in New York next to his tipped kayak, he thought he might die.
He had been enjoying a relaxing August day on the lake with his family, meditating and snapping pictures. He kept his lifejacket in the boat – he didn’t think he would need it, he told Glens Falls Living.
But his kayak ended up drifting, and suddenly he found himself far from shore and from his wife and stepchildren. Despite the rough waters, he still thought he could make it back to shore, and so he waved on several boats that had stopped to offer help.
But when his kayak tipped and his hastily-donned lifejacket came up to his ears, Macdonald knew he was in real trouble.
“I thought I was going to die. I was absolutely powerless and wished I had asked for help earlier. I was waving my hand and asked God to please help me,” he said.
God answered his prayers – but not in the form of Jesus walking on water.
“And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the tiki boat.”
Aboard the floating bar boat were seminarians and priests of the Paulist Fathers from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington, D.C. The Catholic religious community had been on retreat nearby and were taking a break on a boat rented from Tiki Tours.
A handful of the seminarians and priests helped the Tiki Tours staff hoist Macdonald to safety.
Noah Ismael, one of the seminarians aboard the boat, told NBC Washington that it was “a movement of the Holy Spirit” that they happened upon Macdonald at the right time.
Chris Malano, another seminarian, told WNYT that as Paulist seminarians, they are missionaries, and “that day, that was our mission, to be present and to help someone in need.”
Macdonald told WNYT that he took the rescue as a “sign from God” that his life still has a purpose on earth.
He also added that he found the rescue funny, in an ironic sense. Macdonald is an addict in recovery who counsels others through addiction recovery.
“How funny is it that I’ve been sober for seven years and I get saved by a tiki bar?” he said.