(Oct. 3) -- Dodging gunfire from pirates on a Texas-Mexico border lake, Tiffany Hartley was forced to make an impossible choice: risk her life by staying with her husband or return to land and seek help.
The couple were sightseeing on Jet Skis on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake on Thursday when Hartley says several boats of gunmen opened fire, striking her husband in the back of his head.
A recording of her 911 call released this weekend and reports from law enforcement officials detail the tragic incident.
"He was thrown off the Jet Ski and I couldn't pick him up to get him on mine," Hartley, 29, told the 911 dispatcher after she safely made it to shore. "Oh, God."
Texas authorities believe David Hartley, 30, died in the attack.
"[Tiffany Hartley] said she was seeing bullets hitting close to her in the water and realized that her husband had been hit behind the head," Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. told ABC News. "She went back trying to find, trying to help him. She went in the water trying to load up her husband to her Jet Ski ... trying to get his body and Jet Ski back to the U.S. side. She was being shot at so she finally had to let go of the body, climb back in her Jet Ski and head back over here to the United States."
Hartley told police that the armed men, who Gonzalez said he believes are pirates associated with a Mexican drug cartel, chased her into U.S. waters as she fled.
"I'm alive because of God's protection. There is no other reason," she told The Denver Post.
Officials are still searching Falcon Lake for David Hartley's body, according to Fox News.
"The one thing I dreaded on Falcon Lake has happened," said the Zapata County sheriff. "The lake is not secure, the border is not secure because the incident that I dreaded the most has in fact happened. We cannot go to Mexico, we cannot recover that body, we cannot conduct an investigation, we have to tell the family we can't do anything about it."
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