Young man rescued after water emergency at Quarry Park

The 19-year-old appeared to be struggling while swimming.
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A man was rescued from the water at Quarry Park near St. Cloud Saturday evening after getting into difficulty while swimming.

The popular park and nature reserve in Waite Park is a popular haunt for swimmers, with Quarry 2 a 116-feet deep pool surrounded by rock formations, and Quarry 11 40-feet deep with a beach.

It was in Quarry 2 that 19-year-old Yabsera Bantayhu Mekonnen, or Burnsville, began to struggle, with onlookers noting he "appeared to be fatigued" as he tried to swim in the quarry, and was struggling to stay above the surface, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

Officers observed him go under the water several times before a bystander pulled him to the rocks at the edge of the quarry.

Officers performed first aid, with Mekonnen slipping in and out of consciousness.

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Mekonnen later told police he is not a strong swimmer but wanted to be in the water. He was fortunately able to walk out of the quarry with help from officers, and was treated by Mayo Ambulance at the scene.

"The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all Quarry Park visitors that there are no lifeguards present in the park or at swimming quarry’s and that personal flotation devices are always recommended if you are not a strong swimmer," the sheriff's office said.

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