CASTLE ROCK, Wash. -- A Cowlitz County man was hurt, but glad to be alive, after saving his girlfriend and her two daughters from drowning Thursday.

Bryan Troffer and the two girls were cooling off in the Toutle River Tuesday afternoon when a strong current took the three of them under the water.

Troffer's girlfriend saw what was happening and jumped in to help. But she also began to struggle.

Troffer managed to fight off the cold, fast-moving water and get his girlfriend and her daughters to shore.

He was airlifted to a Vancouver hospital for injuries he suffered during the episode. But he said for a moment he didn t know whether any of them would survive.

Losing people I care about scares me and I was scared, the most scared I'd ever been, he said from his hospital bed. Because I didn't think any of us would make it out.

He was hailed as a hero by friends and other community members, including the father of the girls he saved.

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