A woman who climbed her way to a highway after being lost nearly all night when her Jet Ski ran aground is lucky to be alive, authorities said.
According to officials with the U.S. Coast Guard, authorities received a report at 9:40 p.m. Saturday that a man had lost sight of his wife while the two were jet skiing around Reed Island State Park on the Columbia River. The man told police his wife was wearing a bathing suit, but not a life jacket.
Officials launched a search that included a helicopter crew from Astoria, Ore., and a 25-foot response boat. They spotted an unmanned Jet Ski on Reed Island Saturday evening, but not the woman.
Multnomah County sheriff's deputies found the lost woman hours later around 4 a.m. Sunday morning walking along Interstate 84 in Oregon. She told authorities that she became separated from her husband when her Jet Ski ran aground. After being stuck on Reed Island for some time, she drifted across the main channel and climbed onto the highway.
The woman suffered from the onset of hypothermia and was transported to a local hospital. Captain Bruce Jones, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, said the woman and her husband made a series of mistakes that could have killed her.
"Coast Guard and local authorities expended significant resources searching throughout the night and into the early morning because this pair of jet skiers did everything wrong," Jones said. "They drank alcohol, failed to use (life jackets) and failed to stick together. The woman is very lucky to be alive."