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Minn. FD issues warning after ‘incredibly daring and dangerous water rescue’

The Duluth Fire Department issued a swimming warning for Lake Superior due to a high risk of rip currents after rescuing a woman who was pulled 200 yards from shore


Photo/Duluth Fire Department

Kim Hyatt
Star Tribune

The Duluth Fire Department issued a warning for dangerous swimming in Lake Superior due to the continued high risk of rip currents and after rescuing a 20-year-old woman who was pulled 200 yards from shore Saturday evening while swimming on Park Point.

“Our crews train for situations like this,” said Assistant Chief Dennis Edwards in a news release. “I am incredibly grateful that they were able to save this young woman.”

Effective through Sunday, the warning applies to all swimmers regardless of experience, according to a statement from the fire department that warns everyone to “please stay out of the water!”

The warning comes just hours after the department was called to the 2800 block of Minnesota Avenue on Duluth’s popular Park Point around 4 p.m. Saturday.

A woman was pulled away in the intense rip currents while the rest of her party was able to return to shore. Two rescue swimmers were able to reach the victim on surfboards and help her to shore.

The U.S. Coast Guard and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department assisted Duluth fire and police in moving the woman from the beach to Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service using a Stokes rescue basket and wheel.

She was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital for exhaustion. She is expected to recover.

Assistant Chief Edwards said that his department has trained and invested over the past few years in the water rescue program for situations like Saturday.

“Today that investment paid off with Captain [ Paul] Gucinski and Firefighter [ Dan] Sarvi making an incredibly daring and dangerous water rescue.”


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