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A 63-year-old fly fisherman died after he was swept down the Cowlitz River Tuesday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

John S. Babbit, of Gig Harbor, was fishing downstream of the Blue Creek boat launch near Toledo at about 11:49 a.m. when he slipped into the water, according to officials in Lewis and Thurston Counties.

Babbit was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital and later to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, where he died at 4:55 p.m., said Lewis County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

Babbit was about 500 yards downstream of the launch when he waded into the water, slipped and got swept into the current, according to the sheriff’s office. Another fisherman pulled him out of the water and started CPR, reported The Chronicle, and a nearby boat took the unconscious man to shore.

The man is presumed to have drowned, but an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to rule out other possible medical conditions.

Contact Daily News reporter Marissa Luck at 360-577-2539 or mluck@tdn.com.

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