ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. — A group of canoeists is safe and dry this morning, a far cry from where they were Sunday afternoon after capsizing and ending up in the frigid Cloquet River near Independence.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says dispatchers received a 911 call from the group after a canoe, part of a flotilla that also included three kayaks, got hung up on some rocks and capsized in the rushing water, tossing 5 people into the river. They were able to make it safely to the river bank with assistance, but were stranded and unable to go on.
Volunteers from the St. Louis County Rescue squad responded, putting Zodiac boats in to the north of the remote area, and using a special tracked vehicle to the south. While some volunteers helped evacuate five of the paddlers, others went into the Cloquet river with safety ropes to remove the canoe, which had been severely damaged.
The remaining three paddlers and their kayaks continued their trip down the river.
Authorities say all eight people in the group were wearing personal flotation devices.
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