Coast Guardsmen rescue man in Lower Mississippi River

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NEW ORLEANS — Two Coast Guardsmen rescued a 36-year-old man from Kerr Lake near Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Thursday.

Lt. Clint Smith and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jose Blanco were conducting an area familiarization trip around the Arkansas River when they heard a man yell for help in the water near the Applegate Cove Marina.

Smith put on a life jacket and entered the water to assist the man, who was also wearing one. After reaching him, Smith helped the man to shore, while Blanco called 911.

Oklahoma State Police talk with a man who was rescued by two Coast Guardsmen from Marine Safety Detachment Fort Smith, Arkansas, near Kerr Lake, Oklahoma, July 10, 2014. The man was wearing a life jacket about 200 yard from shore when Coast Guard Lt. Clint Smith jumped into to assist the man to shore after he was exhausted in the water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of MSD Fort Smith, Arkansas)

Oklahoma State Police talk with a man who was rescued by two Coast Guardsmen from Marine Safety Detachment Fort Smith, Arkansas, near Kerr Lake, Oklahoma, July 10, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of MSD Fort Smith, Arkansas)

The man was reportedly fishing with a partner in his 13-foot boat when it became disabled. The man reportedly jump into the water to pull it to shore and became exhausted.

“MST2 Jose Blanco really did all of the work here, he called 911 while I pulled the man to shore and he used the truck horn to alert a nearby boater who was able to pull the fisherman’s boat to shore along with [the man’s] fishing partner,” said Smith, supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment Fort Smith, Arkansas. “The man was completely exhausted when I reached him. He’d swallowed a lot of water and told me he was having trouble breathing. Thankfully, he was wearing a lifejacket, which may have saved his life in this situation.”

A good Samaritan retrieved the drifting boat and returned it to the docks at the Applegate Cove Marina.

The man reportedly suffered from exhaustion but no other injuries.

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