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Stranded hunter rescued after falling into Mississippi River

Emergency crews from Cottage Grove and St. Paul Park gather at Lions Levee Park in St. Paul Park to rescue a hunter stranded on a Mississippi River island. (Photo courtesy of Cottage Grove Fire Department)

 A hunter was rescued from a Mississippi River island Saturday evening after falling into the water, authorities said.

The man was not injured and requested an ambulance transport only as a precaution, Cottage Grove Fire Chief Rick Redenius said. The man's age was not immediately available, but he was middle-aged, Redenius said.

The man was hunting alone Saturday when he somehow slipped and fell in the water between his 16-foot boat and the shore. Wet and cold, he called his son on his cellphone, and emergency crews were dispatched at 6:45 p.m. to Lions Levee Park in St. Paul Park.

Cottage Grove rescue crews launched an airboat, and St. Paul Park fire officials assisted with their rescue boat. Redenius said dispatchers might have "pinged" the man's cellphone to help determine his location on an island near Grey Cloud Island Township.

"The guys on the airboat were able to find him on shore," Redenius said.

The man had been on the island for at least a half-hour after his fall. It was below 30 degrees in the area Saturday evening.

As emergency crews brought the man back to Lions Levee Park, his son had launched his own boat to go out and retrieve his father's boat.

The hunter initially declined medical attention, but later decided to be transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. It was a non-emergency transport, Redenius said.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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