Boy Scouts save troop leader during sail on Lake Belton

Posted at 8:20 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 12:02:41-04

Four boy scouts helped save their troop leader after he suffered a heart attack on Lake Belton last week.

On Friday, sail instructor Tex Mitchel took his son Tex, Alex Graves, Aaron Walls and Jake Dos Santos on a sailing race with his yacht club at Frank's Marina.

Shortly after taking off, the crew began to have trouble with the rigging on the J/24 keel boat - that was when Mitchell started feeling lethargic.

"I got so weak," Mitchell said. "I couldn't even sit up and at that point I'm thinking maybe this is a heat stroke."

It wasn't long until the scouts noticed how bad their leader was getting.

"He started getting dizzy and told us to pour water on him," Graves said. 

"It was when he said his hands were numb," Walls added. It was the 10-year-old's first time sailing. 

"That's when we realized something was wrong and that we had to head back," Graves said.

The boys sprung into action and started giving Mitchell water to cool him down and talked to him to make sure he was still coherent.

The other Lake Belton Yacht Club Boats were further out into the lake when a bystander at the Dead Fish Grille called 911. He thought someone from one of the other boats was drowning.

When first responders arrived, they found the call was a mistake but quickly headed toward Frank's Marina - arriving just in time. 

Mitchell had to go through emergency surgery at Scott and White for a genetic heart disease. He ended up with two stints in his heart.

Mitchel's son said he was relieved when his dad was in the hospital because that meant he was being helped. 

He said it was because of the survival techniques his dad and other scout leaders taught him, that they were able to keep calm and assist him.

The scout leader credits his first mates for saving his life and said they did everything they were supposed to.

"It turned out to maybe be the best time to have it because everything came together in such a perfect way to get me to the hospital so quickly.," Mitchell said. "That's why not only am I alive but I suffered very little heart damage."

The boys will head back to Lake Belton on Friday to prepare for a regatta in Houston next month. Mitchell said he is going to take it easy but as soon as he can get back out there, he will. 

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