German kayaker shares story of rescue after going over Skamania - KPTV - FOX 12

German kayaker shares story of rescue after going over Skamania County waterfall

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German kayaker Pirmin Dlugosch going down Spirit Falls last week, before his incident on the Little White Salmon River. (Adrian Mattern) German kayaker Pirmin Dlugosch going down Spirit Falls last week, before his incident on the Little White Salmon River. (Adrian Mattern)
HOOD RIVER, OR (KPTV) -

A kayaker who said he plunged 80 feet down a waterfall Saturday had to be saved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The man is recovering in his Hood River hotel now, a long away from his home in Germany.

Pirmin Dlugosch loves kayaking and said he has been doing it for about six years now.

The seasoned kayaker said he had big falls before, but knew right away this one was different.

Dlugosch was kayaking in the Little White Salmon River in Skamania County when he fell 80 feet down one of the falls, hitting the water at a weird angle and injuring his back.

Dlugosch said he waited three hours in a ravine for the first rescue crews to come, who then had to request a Coast Guard helicopter to get the kayaker out.

Video from the USCG shows where they were able to hoist Dlugosch about 180 feet in the air to get him out of the ravine.

He was then taken to OHSU, where just over 24 hours later he was released.

Dlugosch said he is in a lot of pain, but luckily doctors said his back is fractured but not broken. Now the German thrill-seeker is thanking everyone who helped save him.

"I want to thank the rescue guys and I really want to thank all my friends who helped me out that day," Dlugosch said. "I’m really glad to have such good buddies to go with me and i trust them. Yeah they helped me a lot on that day."

Dlugosch said he is now working on getting back home to Germany and is hoping he'll be able to catch a flight back home sometime next week so he can continue the recovery process there.

Despite his injury, he said he isn't going to let this accident keep him from getting back on the water.

The kayaker said he plans on avoiding big waterfalls, and just sticking to big rapids to be safe.

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