• Damien Lane

Three fishermen nearly killed in boating accident

Professional fishermen Bryan Maess, Christopher McMahon, and Roni Durham were on the Columbia river fishing in Angling, Ore, when they noticed a much larger boat heading straight for them at a high speed . The three men got up, waving their hands and screaming to the oncoming boat, trying to get the boater's attention.

The three men were on Maess's 20-foot Weldcraft boat and were using GoPro cameras to record their fishing trip; the cameras recorded the whole incident.

When the boat was not slowing down, the three people jumped from their boat into the freezing water, avoiding being struck by the larger oncoming boat. The boater was 75- year-old Marlin Lee Larsen. Maess accused Larsen of being on his phone while driving the boat. Larsen claimed that he wasn't on his phone but was sitting down and couldn't see them over the bow of his boat.

Maess filed a lawsuit for $372,500 for the damages to his professional fishing boat, which was totalled. Maess did bring Larsen to court for destroying his boat, but Maess did not win the lawsuit. Larsen was instead charged with Reckless Operation, three counts of Recklessly Endangering, and three counts of Assault in the 4th degree.