Duck Hunting photo

Six duck hunters are lucky to be alive after using duck decoys to stay afloat when their boat sank in Minnesota’s Ann Lake this past Sunday night, stranding the men in frigid water for nearly 30 minutes.

Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE says the men were navigating back to shore in the dark after a duck hunt when water swamped the possibly overweight boat. Weighted by their gear and unable to swim to shore, the men wedged floating duck decoys under their arms to avoid drowning.

“I couldn’t feel anything on my skin but just pain inside,” said Mike Kevelin, one of the hunters.

Kevelin’s father was on shore nearby and yelled over the lake looking for the men when they yelled back for help. While someone else called 911, he rowed a small canoe out to their location so they could grab on until help arrived. Firefighters in cold water rescue suits arrived later and pulled all six men from the water, who were treated by paramedics for mild hypothermia and later cleared to go home.

Firefighters returned later for the boat, which was reportedly 95 percent full of water, but most of the hunters’ gear and shotguns sank to the bottom of the lake.