A woman had to be rescued from Lake Superior in Duluth Tuesday night after being pulled underwater by a rip current.
According to the Duluth Fire Department, the 20-year-old woman from St. Paul got into the water when her sister had gone in and was struggling to swim near the Beach House on Park Point Beach around 7:02 p.m.
She helped her sister back to shore but was then pulled back out by a rip current. Bystanders grabbed a life ring and helped her back to the beach before firefighters arrived.
She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, with the fire department noting she was conscious, awake and alert but her current condition is unknown.
It marked the second water emergency at Park Point Beach in a week. The other happened July 1, when a 19-year-old woman was playing in the waves with her friends when a wave knocked her over and she wasn't able to stand back up, the Duluth Fire Department said.
The woman's friends helped her to shore by the time firefighters arrived and she was taken off the beach with help from first responders. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
"The Duluth Fire Department would again like to remind the public that rip currents can happen at any time, and should be taken seriously," the fire department said in the July 7 news release. "Red flags fly in multiple locations along Park Point along with a message board that shares beach conditions when warnings are issued.
"Please keep yourself and others safe by not entering the water when these warnings are issued regardless of your swimming experience," the fire department added.
The current red flag warning is in effect until at least 10 a.m. on July 8, with the warning noting that wind and wave conditions can support rip currents, which are life-threatening to anyone entering the water.
Rip currents are strong, narrow channels of water that flow away from shore. They can pull even the strongest swimmers far from shore, NOAA says. Rip currents often develop because of high wind, larger waves, shoreline structures (piers), and weather phenomena.
According to the National Weather Service, there have been 22 current-related incidents off the shores of St. Louis County since 2002, including 19 rescues and three deaths.
There's a Park Point Beach website that has information about swim hazard risk and other details for swimmers.