Couple Faces Tornado While Still Onboard

March 2017 News Web Exclusive

The Murfreesboro Post recently shared the nail-biting situation houseboaters Regina and Mike Layton found themselves in when an EF-1 tornado hit Four Corners Marina in Antioch, Tenn.—while the couple was still onboard.

"The storm picked the boat up, it slammed it down, and it slammed us to the ground. We were trying to hang on to each other," Regina Layton shared with The Murfreesboro Post.

The couple and their three dogs were on their 75-foot Sumerset The Southern Comfort when winds first picked up to over 86 miles an hour.

"I looked out the window, and I saw the straight-line winds hitting the water, and the wind picked up a smoker cooker and threw it at the boat," Layton reported.

Regina and Mike got away from the windows and took immediate refuge in the bathroom with one of their dogs, as the other two were secured in their overnight kennels. After an intense bout of listening to debris flying around as they were tossed “like a rag doll,” the entire family made it through the storm okay. The main ramp to the boat dock didn’t survive the tornado, so they took a small boat to get ashore, witnessing the aftermath as they rode. Part of the dock collapsed on top of their houseboat and the fly bridge was crushed, the grab rails were gone, and the fiberglass top deck was compromised, to list some of the damage. Luckily the Laytons and Southern Comfort are insured, and even more importantly, they and their dogs suffered no serious harm.

 "I was very scared. The next time they say 'thunderstorms,' I bet my ass won't be on the lake! My husband Mike feels about the same,” Regina Layton told The Murfreesboro Post. Though they won’t be ready for the start of the boating season this April, the Laytons are working with insurance adjusters and are refurbishing everything that was damaged on Southern Comfort. You can read their whole story here.

Photo credited to Dan Epright/The Murfreesboro Post

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