OSLO, Norway — Norwegian Kjell Wilhelmsen made the catch of his — and a drowning Dane's — lifetime when he hooked the 246-pound man with his fishing rod.
The Dane, Jens Ovesen, was fishing for salmon in central Norway's Gaula River this week when he was swept away by a strong current.
Luckily, Wilhemsen, 55, spotted the man's struggle. The Norwegian had fished the river for 25 years and knew where the current would carry Ovesen, according to news reports on Thursday.
Wilhelmsen ran across a bridge, waiting for Ovesen as the current carried him downriver.
"He seemed paralyzed. Only his face and the tips of his boots were above water," Wilhelmsen told Norway's largest newspaper, Verdens Gang. "I decided to start casting."
His homemade lure hooked Ovesen's rubber waders on the first cast of about 10 yards. Wilhelmsen used every fishing trick he knew to reel in the big man without breaking his light line.
He landed the half-conscious Dane and hauled him onto the shore.
"I can thank Kjell for my life," Ovesen, 60, told the Troenderbladet newspaper.
The river is about 220 miles north of the capital, Oslo.
Wilhelmsen's family confirmed the incident by telephone but said he could not immediately be reached. He'd gone fishing.