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Group 'lucky to survive' after tubing on treacherous river in southeast Minnesota

Their actions prompted a warning from a local sheriff.

A group of people tubing on a river south of the Twin Cities had to be rescued after getting caught in up in downed trees.

The Rice County Sheriff's Office says the group became stranded on a "treacherous" section of the Cannon River south of Dundas just after 6 p.m. Monday.

The group had entered a section of the river that was "almost completely covered by downed trees," having earlier gone onto the river on inner tubes near Wilderness Park.

Two of the inner tubes deflated, with a 45-year-old Cottage Grove woman and a 23-year-old Newport man having to swim to shore after being temporarily submerged.

The rescue operation was a difficult one, with some areas of the river not accessible by land. It required the Rice County Water Patrol and a DNR Pro-Drive boat to reach them.

During the course of the rescue, one firefighter sustained non-life-threatening injuries. None of those in the tubing party were injured.

"I have been asked numerous times if people can use the river for recreational purposes. My answer has been consistent. I don’t recommend people using river for tubing due to numerous trees down in the river," Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said in a press release.

"I caution people with canoes and kayaks as well to think twice about using the river at this time due to the high water and treacherous conditions due to trees blocking the river.

"People are not only putting their own lives at risk but the lives of our first responders. Some of these areas are not able to navigate easily and it’s not worth risking your life. These people are very lucky to have survived this incident!"

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