Local men rescued from Lewis River

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: December 14, 2012, 8:38 PM

 

Two local men were rescued after their fishing boat rolled over after hitting a log in the East Fork of the Lewis River on Friday afternoon.

A 64-year-old man from Battle Ground and a 66-year-old man from Vancouver launched their aluminum drift boat into the river at Lewisville Park, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & rescue. The men had fished the same stretch of river Thursday when water levels were higher. As they rounded a bend, just 200 yards before Daybreak Park, the boat got pinned on a log jutting out of the water. The boat started to roll, so the men crawled onto the log and then to an island, Dawdy said.

A nearby fisherman heard their calls for help and dialed 911. Clark County Fire & Rescue arrived at 1:59 p.m. and called for assistance from the Region 4 Technical Rescue Team, which is firefighters from the Vancouver Fire Department and Clark County Fire District 6.

They launched an inflatable kayak, paddled to the island and brought the men back to shore, Dawdy said. The men were cold, but otherwise unharmed.

However, only one was wearing a life jacket. Dawdy said anytime people spend time on rivers in the Pacific Northwest, they should wear life jackets.

Also, the water is just above freezing this time of year, he said: “No matter how strong of a swimmer you are, you’re really going to be in a disadvantage in water that cold.”

The men’s names were not released.