When Salem area men Dan Hande, Rob Hicks and Craig Smith set out from Newport in their 18 foot boat for a day of crabbing, little did they know that they would soon be heading back to shore on a surf board powered by a stranger from Corvallis.
Oregon State Police report that the three men had set out on a crab outing just beyond the Newport Jetties. When they finally saw the rough condition of the ocean, they decided to scrap the trip and head back then. But as they turned their boat around, they were broadsided by a big bar wave that turned their boat over the threw them into the water.
Fortunately, they all were wearing life jackets. But still, hypothermia from the cold ocean water sets in quickly. Nearby surfer Chris Speakman from Corvallis paddled over and brought two of the men aboard his board, and stuck his legs far enough out for the third man to hang on to his ankles.
By then the Coast Guard had been summoned and a rescue motor lifeboat was roaring out from the bay to meet them. All three were checked for injuries. Two went to Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport for treatment of mild hypothermia. A third required no treatment.
By the way, ages of the three men run from 55 to 57. Surfer Chris Speakman is 60!