Two Men Rescued Saturday from Sinking Boat on Columbia River


Two men were rescued Saturday afternoon after their boat began sinking on the Columbia River.

Just before noon, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 transfer from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office regarding a Sea Ray boat sinking on the Columbia River with two males on board. The boat was on the river between Tower Road and the Boardman Marina.

The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, Boardman Police Department and Oregon State Police responded to the 911 call. The Boardman Ambulance responded for medical assistance and Morrow County Emergency Management was notified and were monitoring the incident. LifeFlight was put on stand by and the Oregon Coast Guard was advised.

At 12:18 p.m., law enforcement spotted the sinking boat from mile marker 159, west of Boardman. The information was that the boat was going down and the two males could not hold on much longer.

At 12:36 p.m., Morrow County Marine Patrol Sgt. Randy Rayburn and Corporal Ryan Jundt responded by water with EMTs on board. Boardman Police Chief Rick Stokoe responded in his personal boat to assist if needed. Morrow County Undersheriff John A. Bowles said the weather was cold and windy, with six foot rollers and white caps, making for a difficult and risky rescue.

At 12:55 p.m., Rayburn located the boat and the two males. When located the two were standing on what was left of the sinking boat. Wyatt Hayden of Pilot Rock and Wyatt Morris of Adams were rescued and brought aboard the Morrow County Marine Patrol vessel by Rayburn and Jundt. After both were safely aboard, they were transported to the Boardman Marina. At 1:23 p.m., after being evaluated by the Boardman Ambulance, both males were released safe and in good health.

“The outcome of this incident is the result of local agencies working together, to get the job done,” said Bowles. “A great example of public service and teamwork.”