RICHLAND – Two fishermen were pulled from the river Saturday morning after their boat took on water and sank near the Columbia Point Marina.
Boat owner John W. King, 49, of Richland, was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland with “early onset hypothermia,” said Benton County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Brockman.
A hospital spokeswoman said King has been discharged.
Gary A. Burton, 53, of West Richland, was treated by paramedics at the marina and released.
According to Brockman, the men had been fishing on the Richland side of the river, around 10 a.m., when they went to move their boat and the anchor became stuck.
They moved the boat upstream from the anchor to dislodge it but then the line got wrapped up in the propeller, stalling the motor, he said.
The boat reportedly floated past the anchor line, which pulled the back of the boat underwater, Brockman said.
Daniel Rea, of Benton City, and his friend Zeke Sitton were fishing on the Pasco side of the river when they realized the other boaters were in distress.
“We heard somebody scream, and it just made us both turn around and you could see this boat sticking out of the water a little oddly,” Rea said.
They also saw men in the water, so they rushed across the river and pulled them out.
The men were in the 55-degree water for 10 to 15 minutes and were holding onto life vests but were not wearing them, Rea said.
The boat traveled at least four miles down the river past Bateman Island before it was pulled out of the water at the Columbia Park West End Marina.