Trapped fisherman cuts off fingertips to free himself

Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Embed
A photo released by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office, shows the boat that William Messenger and Jarrad Todd were fishing from in the Wynooche River Sunday near Aberdeen.
A photo released by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office, shows the boat that William Messenger and Jarrad Todd were fishing from in the Wynooche River Sunday near Aberdeen.

Credit: Associated Press
William Messenger from the great state of Washington, was out fishing when he ran into some trouble:

With his left hand stuck between a boat and a downed alder tree, William Messenger thought he was out of time, about to die in the frigid Wynoochee River. In a life-saving attempt, the fisherman grabbed a pocketknife and cut off his own two fingertips to escape the sinking drift-boat.

It seems that help was on it's way:

Messenger obviously felt trapped being in the sinking boat for at least 15 minutes, Vestal said, but police said he might have been able to survive without cutting his fingers off.

"Hindsight is 20-20. If he'd have known help was not that far away, he might have held off taking the steps that he did," said Rick Scott, Grays Harbor County undersheriff. "It's one thing to think about doing that, but it's another to actually execute the plan."


Whole story can be found here.
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

Strategic partner

Paddle Canada Logo