Guide, Anglers On Scene Of Boat Explosion

Spring Chinook anglers raced to the scene of a boat fire and explosion on the Interstate stretch of the Columbia River this morning.

“We were trolling along and heard this big loud boom,” says Capt. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “Then a bunch of debris flew up into the air like 25 feet.”

The incident occurred just before 9:30 a.m. near the west end of Portland International Airport, off Salty’s Restaurant near the Gleason boat ramp.

The boat is described as a “30-to-40 ft. Wellcraft cruiser” by The Oregonian. The paper reports that two men and a woman were taking the boat east to Hermiston from Donaldson’s Marina. They had just fueled up for the trip on the recently purchased craft when the explosion occurred.

“It was right where everybody was fishing,” says Martin of the explosion. He estimates he was within a quarter mile of the scene.

The burning boat quickly sank, he says.

“A bunch of boats pulled up and went racing over,” says Martin. “A bunch of sleds were over there immediately.”

He says they were on the scene four or five minutes before rescue personnel.

The Oregonian reports that the manager of a boat fuel station pulled one of the individuals from the river while bystanders pulled the two others.

This is a tough segue, but Martin reports three springers hooked off his boat this morning, with two in the box. The fish are biting small cut-plug herring, he says.

He’s fishing with Buzz Ramsey and Terry Otto.

“Every now and then we’re seeing one” caught, says Martin, but fishing appears to be slow overall.

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