Fishing pole, rope, cooler aid in Columbia River rescue

RAINIER, Ore. — Bystanders who spotted a 72-year-old man clinging to a line attached to a fishing boat in the cold waters of a Columbia River marina used what was handy to rescue him — a fishing pole, a rope and a cooler.

The Daily News of Longview, Washington, said Harold Caulfield spent nearly 20 minutes in the cold water Friday.

Rainier, Oregon, police say the man slipped and fell into the water as he walked his boat up a ramp at the Rainier Marina.

Nearby fisherman Jim Nicklous saw the boat drifting into the river. Nicklous had nothing but his fishing pole. He cast and snagged a rope on the boat. Amazingly, the fishing line held — and kept the boat from drifting farther.

Eventually, public works employees and a Rainier police officer tied a cooler to a rope and threw the improvised flotation device to Caulfield. Police say he was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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