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Two men rescue fisherman after boat overturns

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jun 05 2014 01:35:40 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

A fisherman who's kayak overturned on the Sacramento River between Chico and Hamilton City Wednesday is recovering after being rescued by a local business owner and another man who rushed to his aid.

The call for an overturned boat in the water came in around 2:30 p.m. Paramedics, Glenn County sheriff's deputies, CAL FIRE and the Butte County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue boats and mobile command unit all responded to the Irving Finch Boat Launch.

Fortunately for the unidentified man, who is said to have been in his 60s, John Scott, owner of nearby Scotty's Landing, along with another man, Greg Duschel, heard about the man in distress and quickly responded.

"I'm always set for it," Scott said. "My boat's always in the water, prepared and ready to go."

They found the distressed man just north of the boat launch clinging to his overturned motorized kayak.

"He was hypothermic and stuck to the boat," Scott said. "He could not let go so we had to pry him off his boat and pick him up and put him in our boat and lay him out and make him comfortable so that he can get warmed up."

The pair rushed the man to nearby Irving Boat Launch, where he was able to walk on his own, to a waiting ambulance.

Scott said they made it to the man just in time, because he didn't have much strength left.

"15 minutes maybe, maybe. He was about ready to pass out when we got to him," Scott said.

That didn't happen though, thanks to the fact that emergency dispatch knew to call Scott, who's says he's spent his life on the river.

"I was born and raised on the river."

Authorities are hoping the public will heed this near tragic event as a warning. High water means there are snags and other debris that can hide just under the water's surface. Also, even though it's hot out the water is still running very cold.