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Man rescued from Columbia River near Washougal

A man was rescued from the Columbia River after falling out of a boat Wednesday afternoon near Reed Island

The Camas-Washougal Fire Department was dispatched at 1:52 p.m. to the Port of Camas-Washougal, 24 S. A St., Washougal. Three fishermen in a 20-foot, white boat had pulled a man — believed to be about 60 years old — to shore, Fire Capt. Brooks Cooper said.

The man was extremely cold and had a substantial amount of water in his lungs, Cooper said. By the time he arrived at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, the man was talking with firefighters.

“He was close (to drowning),” Cooper said. “Those guys saved his life.”

The names of the rescued man and fishermen were not immediately available.

While at the hospital, the man said he was attempting to start the engine of a 15-foot, red boat when he fell into the river, Cooper said. The man was not wearing a life jacket.

The water temperature at that time was around 65 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The man’s boat continued to float downstream. The fishermen returned to the river to retrieve it before it was collected by the Multnomah County, Ore., Sheriff’s Office River Patrol Unit and brought to Camas-Washougal Fire Station 43, Cooper said.


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