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Three people rescued from the Upper Iowa River

Posted: Mon, Jun 12, 2017 9:44 PM

The Decorah Fire Department says three tubers on the Upper Iowa River were rescued on Sunday night.

The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office was notified around 7:45 p.m. Sunday of three lost inner tubers on the Upper Iowa River between Kendallville and Bluffton.  The Decorah Fire Department was dispatched to assist the Sheriff's Office in locating the lost tubers. 

One of the individuals was eventually able to walk to a gravel road and call authorities.  She was located by sheriff's deputies on Chimney Rock Road.  The found individual was not able to give a location of the other two. 

The Decorah Fire Department was able to launch its drone and the other two individuals were located on a sand bar within two minutes.  A note was able to be flown to them and they were advised to wait until Fire and Sheriff's Office personnel were able to make contact with them and assist them from the river. 

Due to the location of the two remaining on the sand bar, it was difficult to gain access to their location.  Once access was made, the two individuals were assisted across the river and transported to the roadway with the Fire Department's UTV. 

The entire operation was able to be monitored by Fire Department personnel using the drone, including the Forward Looking Infrared camera, which allowed the scene to be monitored in the dark.

There were no injuries reported and alcohol was not a factor.  All three tubers were reunited around 10:00 p.m. Sunday.