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A rafter who washed down the Deschutes River without a life jacket was pulled to safety this afternoon.
Robert "Wayne" Schiffman, 58, of Redmond, Wash., was attempting to negotiate the Colorado Rapids about 5 miles upstream from the Columbia River when he was thrown overboard by a large wave.
Washed downstream, he quickly tired and couldn't reach the riverbank, said Sgt. John Katzenstein, an Oregon State Police spokesman.
But luck was with Schffman. A nearby angler, Arnold Kramer of Keizer, heard his calls for help and grabbed him, holding his head above water and keeping him from being washed further down. However, the swift current prevented Kramer from pulling him to shore.
Fortunately, Les Kipper, a senior trooper with the state police Fish & Wildlife Division, and Jack Lefond, a state police volunteer, were conducting a boat patrol on the Deschutes. Kipper jumped out of his jet boat and put a life jacket on Schiffman before pulling him to the riverbank.
Schiffman was treated at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles and released.
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