In a bizarre and potentially tragic story from Washington state, a trapped drift boat angler cut off two of his fingertips using a pocketknife to free himself as his craft was rapidly sinking in a swift current. Help arrived just minutes later.

William Messenger, 51, was steelhead fishing on the Wynoochee River in a 16-foot drift boat with his daughter’s boyfriend, Jarrad Todd on Sunday when the incident occurred.

When the side of the boat slammed into a logjam, Messenger’s left index and middle fingers became wedged between the boat and an alder tree. The current held the boat in place.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Todd was able to escape and went for help. In the meantime, the boat was quickly filling with water and Messenger worried it would sink before rescuers arrived.

“Hindsight is 20-20,” said Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott. “If he’d have known help was not that far away, he might have held off taking the steps that he did.”

Such an incident makes us all reflect on how we might have reacted in a similar situation.

What about it, News Hounders?