Father, daughter treated for hypothermia after canoe flips

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

Updated: May 7, 2012, 8:18 PM

 

A father and daughter were treated for hypothermia after their canoe capsized in the Columbia River near Stevenson on Sunday, officials said.

Les Hastings, 73, and his daughter, Melissa Pearce, 32, encountered rough conditions with high winds on the river, according to a Skamania County Sheriff’s Office bulletin. Their canoe capsized around 11:15 a.m.

Skamania sheriff’s deputies, Washington wildlife agents, Skamania EMS and the Skamania County Dive Team responded.

Deputy Mike Hepner made contact with Ron Shoemaker of Washougal, who had a boat in the area, Skamania Undersheriff Dave Cox said. Hepner got on the boat with Shoemaker and tried to get the father and daughter out of the water, but couldn’t because of conditions.

Hepner and Shoemaker pushed the canoe with Hastings and Pierce hanging onto it close to shore. Rescuers then pulled the two out of the water, Cox said.

Pearce and Hastings were treated for hypothermia by Skamania County EMS and released.

They were wearing flotation devices.

“We were very fortunate today that this was not more serious,” Sgt. Arne Gonser, said in the release. “The water temperature continues to be very cold this time of year and hypothermia can set in very quickly.”