A local man owes his life to the quick thinking of two teens who saw him drowning in the Clackamas River.
The near-drowning happened Saturday in Damascus when Lonnie Hamon became tangled up in a fallen tree. Two teens were attending a wake nearby when they saw him struggling and jumped in to save him.
"He was fighting and holding onto a rope and you could seethe water rushing over his head," said witness Ryan Schulenberg.
"He was trying to take one more breath but his head was underwater," said rescuer Erich Rauch.
The current was so fast it took Rauch and his cousin several attempts to get to the man and cut him loose from the tree. Once they got Hamon to shore, the teens used a broken beer bottle to cut a rope twisted around his neck and arm.
Even though he had no CPR training, Rauch performed chest compressions, eventually reviving Hamon.
"I'm just glad I was able to help and God was able to save the guy's life," Rauch said.
Hamon returned the river Sunday to thank the two teens.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Department plans to remove the tree Monday.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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