CAPE D - A Corvallis, Ore., man experienced bad luck Sunday by nearly drowning after being trapped under an overturned 16-foot boat, but was extremely lucky it happened within sight of U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment.
Cressey Merrill, 25, and Darren Mitchell, 28, were returning from fishing at about 7:30 p.m., Sunday when their small boat capsized near pilings at the entrance to the Ilwaco Channel.
Mitchell managed to swim to the jetty and run to the Coast Guard station, which immediately launched a 23-foot utility boat and a 47-foot motor lifeboat, arriving in under two minutes.
Crewmen spotted Merrill's legs poking from under the boat and tapped the overturned hull to determine if he was breathing inside. Receiving no response, a rescue diver entered the water and pulled Merrill free.
Crewmen determined Merrill to be breathing very shallowly if at all. They cleared his airway and performed CPR on the boat while transporting him to waiting aid vehicles at the station, which continued treatment.
He was transferred to Ocean Beach Hospital and later transferred to Emanuel Hospital in Portland, in part because he may have swallowed some spilt fuel. Amazingly, he was reported to be in good condition Monday morning.