Man rescued after boat overturns in Hoh River

Swift water team uses raft to reach victim

FORKS — A Georgia man was rescued after his boat overturned while traveling on the Hoh River.

Just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, law enforcement was called about a fisherman who had his vessel overturn and had to swim to the opposite shore and was stuck, said Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy Gene Hoagland.

The man went into the water between mileposts 7 and 9 along the Upper Hoh Road, Hoagland said. At the Morgan’s Crossing boat launch, Hoagland said other boaters told him that the man was seen a mile or two up the river.

Hoagland and detective Joe Pursely located the man, who was on the far side of the river with no road access, and they attempted to call for helicopter aid from the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy, but due to the weather, the military couldn’t assist, Hoagland said.

Hoagland called for assistance from the Clallam County Fire District 1 swift water team, and eventually, the team crossed the river with a raft and retrieved the man from the far side of the Hoh River, he said.

The man told Hoagland he was “cold, wet and sore,” but he had no visible injuries. The man was starting to show early signs of hypothermia because he waited on the bank for about three to four hours before rescuers could reach him, Hoagland said.

The man was not very communicative and did not clearly say how his boat overturned, only saying there were logs and rough water, and he didn’t describe the boat, which had not been located as of Monday, Hoagland said.

The man was evaluated in an ambulance before he left in his own truck, refusing further medical aid.

The multi-agency response went smoothly, Hoagland said. It involved Hoh tribal police and Forks Ambulance as well as the deputies and fire department.


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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