U of M rowing team rescues woman from Mississippi River

U of M rowing team rescues woman from Mississippi River

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

When four members of the University of Minnesota rowing team set out to practice on the Mississippi River on Wednesday, they never expected they would be hailed as heroes for rescuing an injured woman from the water.

"It was a real shock," Assistant Coach Peter Morgan admitted. "Looked like she had been through a lot. We just wanted to get her back to the dock as quickly as possible.

The two rowers and two coaches found the woman tangled in some tree branches along the shore about a quarter of a mile downriver from the Lake Street bridge at about 7:15 a.m. When they got closer, they saw she was injured and needed help. So, they tossed her a life jacket and maneuvered their watercraft close enough to pull her halfway out of the water as another rowing coach in a motorboat pulled up to help get her all the way out of the river.

The rowers called for help and made their way back to the Minneapolis Rowing Club's dock to meet paramedics, who found the woman's leg was broken. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment of her injuries, which may also include broken ribs.

"I'm just glad that we, as a team, were able to get her out and I hope she's well," freshman rower Emily Stock said.

Head coach Wendy Davis overheard the woman tell paramedics she had fallen into the water Tuesday night, and drifted about 3 miles downstream before getting tangled in waist-deep water. Davis also told Fox 9 News that her team rarely goes to the area where the woman was found, but the high water levels put them in the right place at the right time.

"The river is so fast right now, we aren't operating out of our boathouse," Davis explained. "We were out of the Minneapolis Rowing Club boathouse. Normally, I wouldn't be in the stretch of river where the woman was stranded."

No information was offered on how the woman fell, but Davis said it was clear that she wanted to get out.

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