The U.S. Coast Guard has shared footage of a dramatic water rescue on Friday at the mouth of the Columbia river near Astoria, Oregon, in a story that just kept getting more strange.
In the video shot from a helicopter, a man can be seen standing on the edge of a 35-foot yacht in rough surf. A rescue swimmer, who had been lowered into the water by a cable, approaches the vessel, just as a large wave slams into it, toppling it and throwing the man onboard into the water.
The swimmer was able to pull him to safety. The helicopter flew him to the Coast Guard base in Astoria, where he was treated for mild hypothermia and was briefly hospitalized.
In a bizarre twist, the man, later identified as 35-year-old Jericho Labonte of Victoria, British Columbia, turned out to be wanted by police for allegedly leaving a dead fish at the Astoria home featured in the 1985 film, “The Goonies,” according to the Associated Press.
Astoria police had been looking for him since Wednesday, when an acquaintance notified them of a video Labonte posted on social media showing himself leaving the fish at the property and dancing around.
The yacht’s owner, a resident of Warrenton, Oregon, reported the boat stolen later on Friday.
Labonte was arrested Friday night at a homeless shelter in Seaside, about 17 miles south of Astoria, on charges of theft, criminal mischief, endangering another person and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Seaside police told AP he was also wanted for other cases in Canada.