A group of fishermen out for a nice, easy day on the open water got the shock of their lives when they had to abandon ship because a motorboat going full speed was headed right for them. And a GoPro camera caught the whole frightening scene on video.
Little did fisherman Bryan Maess know that when he launched his little 20-foot fishing boat into Oregon’s Columbia River on August 12 that soon he and his two companions would be jumping into the drink to escape an oncoming motorboat, according to Oregon Live.
Fortunately for Maess, a sports video camera caught the terrifying moment when he and passengers Christopher McMahon and Roni Durham had to abruptly abandon ship before a 31-foot motorboat piloted by Marlin Lee Larsen barreled right toward them without stopping.
The video shows the three fishermen franticly waving their arms to alert the pilot of the motorboat to their presence before jumping headlong into the river. A split second later the larger craft slams into the little fishing boat totally destroying the thing.
Maess, a 47-year-old off-duty Hermiston police officer, suffered minor injuries. His passengers also sustained non life-threatening injuries, mostly because of how quickly they had to jump ship.
The pilot of the larger motorboat, 75-year-old Marlin Lee Larsen, says that he is disabled and cannot stand while operating his boat and did not see the small launch from his seated position. But police said that one of Larsen’s passengers alleged that the man was talking on his cell phone seconds before the accident.
Police say no drugs or alcohol figured as part of the incident, but Larsen was charged with reckless operation of a craft, and three counts each of reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault.
Maess has also filed a $372,500 lawsuit against Larsen.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.