For some reason, I’ve always thought it would a nice thing to one day own my own boat. Just having the freedom to escape the hustle and bustle of the land, take a few beers out and have a relaxing time fishing in the middle of the sea. Sounds bliss, doesn’t it?
Well, my dreams have been shattered after watching this heart-pounding GoPro footage.
This video shows the terrifying moment a fisherman and his passengers were forced to dive into a river in order to avoid a collision with a huge speedboat that they spotted hurtling towards them.
The sheer size of the vessel combined with the speed it was traveling meant the passengers would have been seriously injured or even killed.
A well-positioned GoPro camera captured the heart-stopping moment the 31-foot motorboat, owned by 75-year-old Marlin Lee Larsen, plowed into Bryan Maess’ 20-foot fishing boat near the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon, and the Pacific Ocean.
The incident took place on August 12, and the footage shows Maess, who was on a fishing trip with passengers Christopher McMahon and Roni Durham, frantically trying to draw attention to his much smaller boat by waving his arms and shouting “Hey!”
However, after the realization that the impending speedboat was not slowing down and heading straight for them, one of the passengers screams “Oh my God”, before all of them jump overboard and into the river. This evidently was a quick-thinking decision which ultimately saved their lives.
With seconds to spare, the crew jumped into the icy water, as the GoPro continues to record the moment Larson’s boat demolished the modest fishing vessel.
Maess, an off-duty Hermiston police officer and part-time salmon fisherman, reportedly suffered injuries to his ankle, leg and arm as a result of the incident, which looked like a scene from Speed. McMahon, 46, and Durham, 57, also suffered injuries.
Larsen, who uses a motorized scooter on land, told investigators he only crashed because he was unable to see the other boat from his sitting position… Something tells me this guy shouldn’t have been driving a 31-foot speedboat.
But in a twist to this maritime tale, one of Maess’ passengers has claimed that he saw Larsen using his cell phone while driving the boat at speed. However, Larsen has slammed this claims, telling Oregon Live such claims were ‘fake news’. (Starting to get a real picture of this guy now…)
Police have revealed that no alcohol or drugs were detected on Larsen, but have cited for reckless operation, three counts of reckless endangerment and three counts of fourth-degree assault. But depsite being caught on two cameras, Larsen has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Maess has filed a $372,500 lawsuit against Larsen, which when you look at his beloved boat now, you can see why:
In the lawsuit, Maess claims he has suffered vision problems and is still wearing a knee brace six months later. In addition, McMahon and Durham, who reportedly suffered minor injuries and hypothermia, have hired attorneys and plan to file their own lawsuits.
Durham also reportedly suffered psychological trauma and has not been able to go back out on a boat since.
One thing’s for sure, I won’t be buying my dream boat anymore…