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Boater is back on the water

Has the gentleman who sank his driftboat at the new Savage Rapids been able to get the boat out of the Rogue River yet?

— Mark T., E-mail submission

It took a little work, but Otis Swisher of Medford has salvaged his driftboat, made a few repairs and has it back on the water.

Swisher, 86, of Medford, sank the driftboat at the lower end of the new Savage Rapids on Oct. 10, the day after construction crews breached a temporary dam and sent the Rogue down its original channel for the first time in 88 years.

Swisher was part of a flotilla celebrating the dam's removal when his aluminum driftboat foundered on a submerged log.

After a few unsuccessful attempts by friends to remove the boat, Swisher hired salvage specialist Terry O'Connors, who was able to right the boat, bail it out and row it to safety Oct. 15.

Swisher says some of the aluminum was a little warped and a few seams were broken, but the boat was repaired and he's back on the Rogue with it.