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Grandparents and children rescued from Northern Iowa tubing incident

RURAL WINNESHIEK COUNTY – Two grandparents and their young granddaughters evaded travesty Wednesday when they became trapped in the Upper Iowa River and authorities had to rescue them

On June 26, 2019, at 12:10 PM, while on patrol, the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office spotted a family in distress in the Upper Iowa River. The 13 and 5-year-old girls from Bettendorf, Iowa, were tubing with their grandparents from Davenport, Iowa, who were ages 63 and 54. The girls and their grandfather were hung up on a fallen tree in the river west of the intersection of Pole Line Rd. and Hwy 52. The grandmother had been able to get to a nearby sand bar. The sheriff’s office summoned the Decorah Fire Department to assist with the rescue. The sheriff’s office and fire crews were able to successfully complete the rescue. Winneshiek Medical Center Ambulance responded to the scene and assessed the rescued family for injuries. No medical transports were required. Winneshiek County Emergency Management and Decorah Police Department also assisted at the scene.

Winneshiek county Sheriff Dan Marx cautioned those thinking about tubing.

“We have had six river rescues already this year,” Sheriff  Marx said. “We continue to encourage people to come to Winneshiek County and enjoy our natural resources including the Upper Iowa and Turkey Rivers. However, we do ask that people be realistic of their physical capabilities, limitations and experience levels. Also, be mindful that river conditions change every day, and there are consistently obstacles and hazards to navigate. The river conditions are not managed or controlled and you are always entering at your own risk.”

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