Folsom/El Dorado News

Elderly man survives hypothermia, hours in Folsom Lake

An elderly man who spent hours in the frigid waters of Folsom Lake survived after his younger friend and emergency crews came to his aid last week.

The 88-year-old man, identified in a California Highway Patrol news release only as Jim, was boating Friday with a 59-year-old companion, while trolling for the wreckage of a plane that had crashed in the 1960s. Their 12-foot aluminum boat ended up overturning around noon, the release said.

The younger man was wearing a dry suit in case he had to dive for wreckage. The older man was wearing street clothes and a life vest, the release said.

The two attempted to swim for shore while towing their boat, but the older man fell unconscious with hypothermia. His friend got him to shore but couldn’t haul him up a steep, muddy bank and left him lying in shallow water, officials said.

The 59-year-old ran a mile for help to a gated house, whose owners called police because they thought he was a prowler, the release said. State park rangers overheard the call and came to his assistance. They asked for help in locating the victim from CHP Air Operations.

Rescuers eventually found the older man without a pulse after dark but were able to revive him. An air ambulance took him to Sutter-Roseville Medical Center.

Hudson Sangree: 916-321-1191, @hudson_sangree