Boaters Desperately Jump Ship as Speeding Vessel Comes Barreling Toward Them

Once they realized they could not get the captain’s attention, they dove into the water, seconds before the boat struck.

What started out as a calm day on the Columbia River turned into a heart-stopping excursion as boaters jumped overboard when another vessel came speeding toward them.

The incident happened in Oregon last summer, but footage of the ordeal has recently surfaced.

The boaters were seen on video with their fishing poles in the water when they saw the motor boat speeding toward them. Despite screaming and frantically waving their arms, they could not get the captain's attention.

They then jumped into the water, a split-second before the other boat struck.

The driver of the motor boat, Marlin Lee Larsen, 75, told investigators he was unable to see the people fishing because he was sitting down while driving, according to reports. Larsen was allegedly using his cell phone at the time of the crash, according to a police report.

His son-in-law, who was also on the boat, told investigators that he had warned Larsen to pay attention because sometimes he uses his cell phone while driving the boat. 

Larsen has plead not guilty to charges of reckless operation of a boat, and fourth-degree assault and endangering the lives of others.

One of the people on the fishing boat, Bryan Maess, filed a $372,500 lawsuit against Larsen. He says he suffered injuries to his ankle, leg and arm. 

Other people aboard the doomed vessel also suffered injuries. They were not named in Maess’ lawsuit, but have reportedly hired attorneys to file their own legal action.

Larsen told The Oregonian that he wasn’t using his cell phone while driving his boat and referred to allegations of it as “fake news.” He also claimed the lawsuit was unnecessary because the people in the other boat weren’t hurt badly.