TEMPE, Ariz. - The scary incident could've ended much worse, but rescuers and witnesses jumped in Tempe Town Lake fast to help. Wednesday morning, all 18 people who were involved when the boat capsized are OK.
The Mesa Bulldogs, a team of athletes with special needs, was practicing for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Town Lake. A dragon boat is similar to a canoe, and it's very long and narrow.
Authorities say there were 18 boaters and coaches aboard the boat. The team was heading back to shore when a lot of the athletes on board started leaning to one side. Tempe police say that's what caused the boat to capsize.
All of the precautions were in place including life vests, police say.
But, this was an especially terrifying situation because the water was very cold and rescuers did not know if the athletes on the boat could swim.
Witnesses like Kahea Mendes jumped in to help right away.
"We were yelling to them to stay with the boat because that's the safest thing to do but I didn't know the crew was disabled children, athletes," Mendes said.
The entire team is resting Wednesday morning and we're told they will continue to practice for the Dragon Boat Festival in a few weeks.