Wagoner Co. Deputies Save Fisherman Stranded On Verdigris River

Thursday, September 5th 2019, 8:09 pm
By: News On 6

A Wagoner County fisherman is thankful after deputies rescued him from the Verdigris River after he was left stranded in the middle of the night. 

Richard Foster said he took shelter under a tree root along the bank for hours in the pouring rain after his boat died. He spent a total of 6 hours on the river and his wife warned him that storms were coming in. 

"I started tying everything down on the boat and I started heading back and I got about 100 yards and my boat just died," Foster said.

He said his bad luck kept getting worse as his trolling motor also died and the tip of his oar fell into the river.

"I just called her and said I'm screwed now. I said I'm going to go where I'm going to go. She started saying go towards the bank and I said 'how?'" Foster said.

Hours later deputies found Foster near the tree he took shelter under. They used special rescue equipment to drag Foster up the 15 foot bank. 

"Deputies did not want to wait for a boat to get there, a boat to launch. They had the tools with them right then to do the job. They wanted to get a rope on him, get him secured so he couldn't be swept away in the river," said Wagoner County Sheriff Sam Elliot. 

Despite all that happened, Foster said he never panicked. 

"I was worried about my wife. I knew I was going to get out of there. I've been through worse situations than that," Foster said.

Now he says he's ready to go fishing again.