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Man dies in Lower Bottle Lake Wednesday

It was Shadow's incessant barking that alerted Nicole Moore Wednesday night.

The black Lab mix has a tendency to woof at strangers in the driveway, but she was carrying on and on.

Nicole poked her head out the door of her Lower Bottle Lake home to shush the dog when she heard sounds from the lake.

"Mrs. Naylor was yelling 'Help, help, help me,'" Nicole recalled.

She told daughter Bailey to call 911 and headed down to the lake, which is northeast of Park Rapids.

It was 7:38 p.m. Bailey, the goalie for the Park Rapids Area High School girls hockey team, was right on her tail. She gave directions to emergency workers while the two, with Bailey's younger brother Dylan in tow, raced down to the shoreline.

The Moore home sits on a bluff overlooking the lake, so there were several flights of stairs.

Because the shoreline there is shallow and rocky, some neighbors, including Naylors, keep their boats on elevated lifts 100 feet out in the water.

William "Bill" Naylor, 75, had headed for his boat to bail it out. Torrential rains the night before had left it full of water. His wife ran to change into her bathing suit but he was well ahead of her.

The elevated boatlift has a ladder with a small dock that runs the length of the boat. Mrs. Naylor was heading down to the water when she saw her husband fall off the ladder and into the water.

She yelled, "Bill what are you doing? It's not that deep out there."

He was able to get back to the ladder but somehow slipped beneath the surface a second time.

Battling pain from knee replacement surgery, Naylor's wife began yelling for help while she tried to get to him offshore as quickly as possible.

She was trying to hold her husband above water when Nicole and Bailey raced into the water 10 to 15 minutes later.

It was Shadow that heard her cries for help.

Naylors are next door down the shore but use a different street address to access the property, Hunter Road, not Hermit Lane.

But Bailey directed emergency crews to Hermit Lane because she knew time was of the essence. She didn't know the precise street address on Hunter Road.

Bailey reached the Naylors first and took charge, grabbing Bill's upper torso and directing her mother to pick up his legs.

"Come on, mom," the teen urged her mother.

"We hoisted him onto the dock," Nicole said. "It was no easy task. There was no pulse."

Naylor's wife began CPR. Emergency crews arrived 10 minutes later and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the victim.

Nevis First Responders took him to a waiting ambulance, but William Naylor never revived.

His body was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office to determine a cause of death.

Bailey's emergency call meanwhile had inadvertently caused another situation back on shore. An officer who knew Nicole's husband, Tim Moore, heard on a police scanner about a possible drowning on Hermit lane. The man knew it was Tim's address. The remote street only has a few other residents.

Calls were made to alert the Moore family, who got no answer when they called the house.

They raced to the scene to find an ambulance and sheriff's cars in the driveway. No one was inside.

Nicole, Bailey and Dylan arrived to find a house of worried family.

The Moore family had arrived to find the phone ringing. When they answered it was Tim, calling from out of town, He, too, had been alerted.

Thursday Nicole Moore was still traumatized over the incident and filled with sorrow they couldn't have gotten there sooner.

She worried her young son would have terrible memories.

Bailey took it upon herself to go over to the Naylors to check on the widow the following day.

"If it wasn't for Bailey I don't know what I would have done," Nicole said.

"She was really something."

The Naylors are seasonal residents from Willmar. Funeral services for William Naylor are pending.

It is believed to be Hubbard County's first drowning this year.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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