Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lucky catch in Hallowell

There are fish stories, and then there are fish stories to end all fish stories. It sounds like a morning where you're glad you got a chance to drink your coffee before all the excitement started.
Staff Writer, Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel

HALLOWELL -- Bob Greene saved a man's life with his fishing pole early Thursday morning. Greene, 42, said he was drinking a cup of coffee and waiting for the sun to rise over the Kennebec River around 4:30 a.m. when he heard what he thought was a bird making noise in the distance.
He figures about 20 minutes passed.

Then he saw what he first thought was a log.

A second later, he realized it was a man bobbing down the river, and heard a faint call of "help."

Michael Gibbs, 25, of Augusta told police he jumped into the river from the Cushnoc Crossing bridge in Augusta -- a 114-foot high span commonly known as the third bridge.
Greene said his first instinct was to jump in -- he took his wallet out of his pocket just in case -- but a 911 dispatcher told him to throw something in to try to save Gibbs instead.

He set down his cell phone so he could cast his 7-foot spinning rod and Okuma reel with 25-pound line. It landed about 2 feet beyond Gibbs, who Greene estimated was about 35 yards from shore. The Chug Bug lure -- a 4-inch long lure with three small hooks on the end -- snagged Gibbs' shirt near his shoulder.

"It was a struggle to get him out of the current so I could reel him in," Greene said.

An experienced fisherman who makes fishing rods for a living, Greene said he knew he had to be careful not to snap the line.

"He had a pretty good hook on him and was slowly reeling him in when the officer arrived," [Hallowell Police Chief Eric] Nason said.

Click here to read the full story: [Source]

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