Rescued man and his rescuers meet again
The first time Davin Friend and Michael Atkins met, on Oct. 6, Michael was drowning in Bull Shoals Lake at Theodosia, and Davin was swimming out to rescue him.
They met again Sunday when Atkins spoke at Salem General Baptist Church in Ocie, where Davin is the pastor. Atkins shared his testimony, telling the story of how Davin and his wife, Kasey, and their 5-year-old son Hudsyn were crossing the Theodosia Bridge on their way to the church’s annual fish fry when they spotted Atkins’ boat, floating loose in the lake – and Atkins floundering, exhausted, in the water.
Both Kasey and Davin jumped into the water at the Theodosia boat ramp to try and save Atkins, but Kasey, fully clothed, turned back when Davin passed her, having paused long enough to strip down to his underwear. He was able to swim to Atkins and help him reach his boat, which had floated to the other side of the cove adjoining the boat ramp. The boat had come untied from the courtesy dock as Atkins walked up the ramp to get his Jeep and trailer after a day of fishing alone on the lake.
In last week’s Times, Atkins shared the story of how the Friends had rescued him, and on Sunday he met the couple at Salem Church to tell the story again to the gathered congregation.
It won’t be the last time the threesome get together. They plan to meet up again Saturday on the lake at Theodosia – to go fishing.