Weiser fisherman dies after being thrown from boat on Snake River

BAKER COUNTY, Oregon -- A Weiser man died on Friday after he was thrown from a boat into the Snake River.

According to the Baker County Sheriff's Office, 64-year-old Michael I. Townsley was fishing with 18-year-old Dustin Grant when the wind picked up and the water became choppy.

A large wave hit Townsley's small flat-bottomed boat, lifting up the front end and slamming it back down, investigators said. Townsley was thrown over the edge of the boat and into the water. He was not wearing a life jacket, authorities say.

Grant did not fall out of the boat, and was able to make it safely to shore, the sheriff said.

Sheriff's officials say a passerby spotted a body floating about a half mile away from the Spring Recreation boat ramp, and called 911 just before 2:30 p.m. The witness launched a boat into the river, and pulled Townsley's body onboard.

The Baker County Sheriff's Office, Huntington Rural Fire Department and the Marine Patrol all responded to the scene.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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