Peter Shane Ambler helped attempt to save Michael S. Stewart from drowning, Netarts, Oregon, October 6, 2010. Stewart, 61, was crabbing in Netarts Bay when his 12-foot boat was carried by a very strong tidal current through the narrow mouth of the bay into the Pacific Ocean, where seven-foot waves were breaking. He yelled and signaled for help. Ambler, 44, store manager, and a male companion were also crabbing in the bay, in Ambler’s 18-foot boat. Alerted to Stewart’s situation, they immediately responded, leaving the bay through its mouth and approaching Stewart’s boat in the breaker zone. As they closed in on Stewart’s boat, which was then about 300 feet from shore, Stewart threw them a rope, but it fell short. After Ambler circled back to Stewart’s boat on another pass, Stewart again threw the line, but again it fell short. On a third pass, Ambler’s companion threw a line to Stewart, and Stewart caught it. A large wave then capsized Stewart’s boat, sending him into the water. Ambler and his companion pulled Stewart aboard their boat, but then another large wave caused it to capsize. Surfacing, Ambler secured a hold of both his companion, who was unresponsive, and his overturned boat as they were carried farther out to sea. A Coast Guard helicopter responded and lifted Ambler from the ocean by means of a rescue basket. His companion was recovered by fire department personnel using a personal watercraft, and Stewart was recovered by a Coast Guard rescue boat. Ambler was taken to the hospital for treatment of hypothermia and nearly drowning, and he recovered, but neither his companion nor Stewart could be revived.
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