GOLD BEACH A Gold Beach doctor escaped with his life Sunday after his boat capsized at the mouth of the Rogue River and he was pinned against the jetty by pounding waves.
Dr. Maciey Druzdel, 48, was rescued from the rocks after a half-hour and treated for minor injuries at Curry General Hospital, the Curry County Sheriffs Department reported.
Druzdel was bottom fishing in his 22-foot aluminum inboard at approximately 6 p.m. when his engine failed at sea. He used a seven-and-a-half horse powered outboard to get across the bar.
However, the engine wasnt powerful enough to get him across the bar, which had waves between 6 and 8 feet high, officials said.
His boat was struck by a series of waves causing it to capsize. Someone saw the boat capsize and reported it, Druzdel said.
I thought I could make it. I can understand what a deadly situation it can be for someone in the water at the jetty, he said. Its not obvious how big the swells are when you are coming back. I was really lucky.
The boat broke apart after it capsized and Druzdel became wedged against the jetty rocks. It saved me to hold on to the rocks, he said.
The waves pounded against his back and head, he said. It was really painful against my back.
Druzdel was wearing a life jacket. It acted both as a flotation device and as some protection against the bruising, he said.
Druzdel estimates that he was on the rocks for 30 minutes before help arrived. The Gold Beach Fire Department and members of the Curry County Sheriffs Department responded and pulled Druzdel to safety.
He was treated for abrasions on his face, bruising and hypothermia at Curry General Hospital. He was later released.
Druzdel estimated the worth of his boat at $5,000 to $6,000. He did not have insurance, he said.
Druzdel said he doesnt plan to replace the boat, but he may purchase a different vessel for sailing or other types of boating.