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Rufus man dies in Columbia River when boat sinks

A 66-year-old man from Rufus died June 20 after his boat sank in the Columbia River.

Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey said attempts to revive Richard Wyatt were unsuccessful and he was declared dead at the scene. He was pulled from the water by fellow boaters, who also called the emergency dispatch center to get help for the unconcious man. The exact cause of his death will be determined by medical examiner Vessil Kaimaktchieu.

Lohrey said Wyatt was not wearing a life vest while fishing out of a 16-foot aluminum boat Friday morning. Twenty-mile-per-hour winds caused 4-6 foot swells.

“It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer you are, you need to wear a life vest if you are out on the water,” said Lohrey.

Klickitat County and the Oregon State Police assisted Sherman County with the incident.

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