Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch: Alleged Thief Gets Destroyed by 'Act of God' as Giant Wave Sends Him, Boat Underwater


Jericho Labonte of Victoria, British Columbia, may have thought he had smooth sailing ahead of him after allegedly stealing a boat in Oregon on Friday.

If he had thought so, Labonte received quite a rude awakening when he ran into a powerful act of God in the form of a storm in the Columbia River. A massive wave capsized the stolen boat Labonte was steering, knocking him into the water.

On an insurance form, it might be called an “act of God.”

Thankfully for Labonte’s sake, emergency personnel successfully performed a tough rescue, The Associated Press.

At the time of the incident, Labonte was wanted on charges related to a strange video he posted on social media of him leaving a fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the 1985 film “The Goonies,” the AP reported.

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According to the AP, the Canadian was also wanted in his home province for several crimes, including failure to comply, criminal harassment and mischief.

When Labonte ran into the storm on Friday, he put out a mayday call that was subsequently answered by two Coast Guard crews that happened to be running drills nearby, according to KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon.

A rescue swimmer then retrieved Labonte, saving his life.

Videos of Labonte’s rescue were shared by the Coast Guard on Friday.

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On Friday, an official statement regarding the situation was published on the official website of the United States Coast Guard.

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The statement confirmed that Labonte was in stable condition.

“After the mariner was released to the care of emergency medical personnel, local authorities notified the Coast Guard that the individual is suspected to have stolen the vessel,” the statement read.

“Astoria Police Department is leading that investigation.”

Labonte was the first life saved by the rescue swimmer, identified in the Coast Guard’s statement as Aviation Survival Technician 3rd Class John “Branch” Walton.

According to the Coast Guard, Walton and his classmates graduated from the Advanced Rescue Helicopter School only hours later.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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