A man rescued by the Coast Guard on Friday is wanted by authorities after a bizarre incident involving a dead fish.
The man, who has been identified as Jericho Labonte, 35, was in a yacht on Friday morning. Heavy surf and rough waves rolled the boat and threw Labonte, 35, into the Columbia River, which runs through Oregon and Washington before opening up to the Pacific Ocean.
The rescue, captured in a series of videos that the Coast Guard shared on Twitter, required a rescue swimmer enter the turbulent water to pull Labonte to safety. He was then flown via helicopter to Coast Guard Base Astoria in Oregon, where he was treated for mild hypothermia and transported to an area hospital.
(1/4) #BreakingNews – Talk about arriving in the nick of time! While conducting a training mission at the mouth of the Columbia River, 2 Coast Guard air crews received a #MAYDAY broadcast from the master of the P/C Sandpiper. After notifying watchstanders at Sector Columbia River pic.twitter.com/CtYSgpdPUG
— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) February 3, 2023
Astoria Police Chief Stacy Kelly told the Associated Press that the yacht that Labonte was piloting was reported stolen later in the day Friday.
Kelly also said that officers had been looking for Labonte since Wednesday: He had allegedly left a dead fish on the porch of an Oregon home featured in the 1985 movie “The Goonies” on Feb. 1.
Labonte had shared a video of the moment to social media, and an acquaintance alerted police to the its existence. The video also showed Labonte dancing around the property. Another person said that he had taken Labonte fishing earlier on Wednesday.
Police recognized Labonte from Coast Guard photos and video, but by the time they contacted the hospital he was treated at, he had already been released. Police are still looking for Labonte.
“It’s been a really odd 48 hours,” Kelly told the Associated Press.
Labonte is also wanted in British Columbia, where he is from, on charges of criminal harassment, mischief and failure to comply. Those charges are from last fall, Kelly said.
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