A man was taken to a hospital in serious condition after jumping into the Clackamas River to recover a boat that floated away from shore, deputies said.
The man, who wasn't publicly identified, was conscious and alert Monday night, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. He jumped in after the boat at Clackamette Park, which sits at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers in Oregon City.
While a witness was talking with dispatchers, a second man jumped into the water to try to help wrangle the boat, according to the sheriff's office. That man made it aboard the boat and grabbed hold of the other man, who appeared to be struggling.
Deputies said rescue crews arrived on boats and found the man in the boat clutching the man in the water -- whose head was submerged at times. Authorities pulled the man into one of their boats and drove to a boat ramp.
They also took the man in the boat to shore. He was uninjured, deputies said.
He told KOIN that he and his friend are from South Dakota and that they were loading a boat back onto its trailer when it floated away.
"I backed the truck down to the water and the boat's out in the middle of the river and Steve's flailing around in the water," his fishing partner told the television station.
He told KOIN he held onto his friend for 20 minutes while they were waiting for help and that his friend had been drinking.
Clackamas River temperatures were in the low 40s near Oregon City on Monday. Authorities were dispatched to the water rescue around 6 p.m.
Agencies that perform water rescues in Clackamas County urge people to wear life jackets while around water.
-- Jim Ryan
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