Houseboat owners rescue man from chilly Columbia River near Jantzen Beach

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, By Kate Mather, The Oregonian

Houseboat owners fished a neighbor out of the Columbia River this afternoon after the man fell off his boat near Jantzen Beach.

The unidentified man was on a 12-foot flat-bottomed boat in the North Portland Harbor when he fell in the roughly 45-degree water about 4:30 p.m., said Paul Corah, a spokesman for Portland Fire & Rescue. The man, who was not wearing a life jacket, tried to get back on the boat but couldn’t.

The owners of a nearby houseboat saw the struggle, hopped in their own boat and pulled the man out of the water, Corah said. They brought the man back to their home and wrapped him in dry towels as they waited for firefighters to arrive.

After making sure the man didn’t need medical treatment, Corah said firefighters escorted him back to his own nearby houseboat.

“We got out there and he was fine,” Corah said. “We walked him back to his house and made sure he was dry and OK.”

The rescue is the second in a Portland-area river in three days. On Sunday, a 31-year-old nursing student pulled a 37-year-old developmentally disabled man out of the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge. The man was taken to a nearby hospital but was expected to make a full recovery.

— Kate Mather

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