- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) - Walla Walla County sheriff’s deputies say three people are lucky to be alive after a barge ran over their pontoon boat on the Snake River near Ice Harbor Dam.

The sheriff’s office says 64-year-old Robert McCollum of Kennewick had gone night fishing Saturday with his 11-year-old grandson and a 16-year-old exchange student. They were asleep early Sunday when their 21-foot pontoon with no visible lighting drifted into the shipping lane and was hit by the barge.

McCollum told deputies he and the boys were pulled under the barge before they were able to surface. The boys swam to shore. A sheriff’s boat rescued McCollum. All three appeared to be unhurt.

The sheriff’s office says the barge crew was initially unaware of the collision but returned for the investigation.

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