Posted: Aug 20, 2012 8:42 AM by Bernie Riggs - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 20, 2012 8:37 AM
MISSOULA- A 12-year-old boy was floating down the Flathead River on August 15th when his tube was sucked under a log jam. Reporter Bernie Riggs spoke with the fishing guide who says he helped pull him out.
Mike Christensen has been guiding in Western Montana for the last 12 years, but last Wednesday an emergency interrupted his fishing trip on the Flathead River. A boy had his tube sucked under a huge log jam.
"He was, when I saw him, he was holding on to a log that was probably six inches in diameter maybe and half his body was under the log jam that was trying to suck him under. The water had enough force to pretty much yank his pants down to his ankles," Christensen recalled.
Christensen got out of his boat and carefully made his way along what he described as a 60 foot long by 30 foot high jam, and that's when he was able to pull the boy out of the water.
"You know it's just something that happened to me that day and it was just kind of a weird occurrence that I happened to be there. Kid's pretty lucky. He even said that he probably had maybe five more minutes and then he'd let go."
Rivers are great for recreation, but they can be deadly.
"They obviously can be dangerous and there's a lot of potential for bad stuff to happen, so I just want people to be aware to not get themselves in these situations," Christensen cautioned.
Also last month, a 44-year-old woman drowned while tubing, when she was caught in a log jam on the Blackfoot River.