NEWS

Fishermen rescue Langley father and son on Fraser River

05/29/2013 09:21 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT
Police are praising some fast-acting fishermen for helping to rescue a father and son who became trapped on a large log boom on the Fraser River on Sunday.

At around 5:15 p.m. PT police received a 911 call from Michael Hampel of Langley, who was fishing for sturgeon when his anchor rope became entangled in his boat's motor.

He told police his boat was inoperable and uncontrollable and he and his nine-year-old son Bradley were adrift on the fast-flowing Fraser River.

Soon their boat was forced on top of a log boom on the north side of the river across from Derby Reach Park and drifting logs and fast-flowing water threatened to capsize it.

Officers raced to the marina at Fort Langley — the last known location of the boat — where they spotted three men removing their boat from the water after a day of fishing.

When police told them about the situation on the river, boat owner Paul Murnaghan immediately agreed to relaunch his boat to assist in the rescue.

The men were able to locate the disabled boat on the logs, rescue Hampel and his son, and attach a towline to the helpless boat.

Hampel said he was grateful to Murnaghan for coming to their aid.

"The man is a hero in our eyes," he said on Wednesday.

Boaters are being warned about how dangerous the river can be, with high water levels and a strong current.

"I don't think even with a life jacket you would have much chance of surviving in that river right now," Murnaghan said.

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