Rafter rescued by fishermen remains in critical condition

A California woman pulled from the Rogue River by fishermen Wednesday remains in critical condition today at Rogue Valley Medical Center, hospital officials said.

Sheryl Barker, 49, of Montara, Calif., was rafting with her 56-year-old boyfriend, Daniel Blakley, when their raft hit a rock Wednesday morning and she and one of the couple's two golden retrievers were thrown overboard.

She was swept around a bend and two fishermen, William Mate, 54, and Everett Goettsch, 73, angling for salmon from a drift boat near the Obstinate J Ranch in the 29000 block of Highway 62, rowed over to grab her. They caught her arm and towed her to the bank, then together pulled her from the water. The dog managed to swim to shore.

Mate ran to a house along the riverbank and called for help at about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. A Mercy Flights helicopter rushed Barker to the hospital, where she remains in intensive care this morning, Jackson County Fire District No. 4 Chief Bob Miller said.

District 4, Shady Cove police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department all assisted with the rescue.

A story in today's Mail Tribune contained incorrect information about Barker's condition provided by the sheriff's department.

— Anita Burke

Share This Story