A father and son trying to cross the Columbia River from Finley to Sacajawea Park over the weekend were rescued by Walla Walla County sheriff’s deputies after their canoe capsized and they plunged into the water.
The father, who is 75, was running out of strength and being held up by his son, who also was trying to keep their dog above water, a sheriff’s news release said.
Sheriff’s Deputies Richard Schram and Ryan Allen, who were on marine patrol in the area, saw the men waving and pulled them and the dog from the water, the news release said.
The father later said he’d been sure he was going to drown, the release said. “He said he misjudged the conditions in the river and that the current became much too strong for his canoe. He had no idea where the deputies came from, but said he will be forever grateful to them for saving his life,” the release said.
The sheriff’s office released information about the incident, which happened Sunday afternoon, on Wednesday.
Walla Walla Sheriff John Turner said in the release that the deputies’ actions likely averted a tragedy on the water and were “in keeping with the highest standards of devoted public service and the vision, mission, and core values” of the sheriff’s office.