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Fishermen from Capsized Boat Seek Help at Homes Miles Apart

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GRANGER, Iowa-- Gusty winds overturned a fishing boat on Saylorville Lake just before 1:00 a.m. Saturday. Only two of the three people made it out of the water alive.

“I heard pounding on the door and someone yelling help,” said Doug Brinker.

After making it to shore, 24-year-old William Earls ran about a mile through the dark woods to Brinker’s house to get help for the two men he was bow fishing with.

“He said his boat capsized on Saylorville Lake,” Brinker told the dispatcher. “He said they were still in the water and he doesn`t know where they’re at.”

The Brinkers gave Earls a blanket, dry socks, a jacket and coffee as they waited for deputies to arrive.

“He was shaking. He was pretty much in shock, pretty much wet. Burrs all over his body,” he described.

About two miles away, another homeowner woke up to pounding on the door.

Nineteen-year-old Nathan Roth was safe, but his older brother was still nowhere to be found.

“It sounds like some kind of accident, they`re just trying to get help. We`ve got them on the way over there ,” the dispatcher told the caller.

Hours later in the daylight, search and rescue teams pulled the body of 22-year-old Matthew Roth from the lake.

“At the time, you just don't know what's going on, but after everything played out, you kind of wished that you'd done a little bit more,” said Brinker.

The Roth family and second homeowner who made the 911 call declined to comment on camera.

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