When an 11-year-old boy slipped on a wet rock and fell into the St. Croix River near Taylor's Falls, his uncle tried to rescue him from the icy water.
“I thought I was going to die,” Calvin Yang said Monday, telling the Star Tribune that he tumbled into the water while he was fishing with a family group that included his uncle, 21-year-old Tou Hu Vang of Coon Rapids. Vang was caught in the swiftly-moving river and was swept away Sunday while attempting to reach his nephew. KSTP reported that Vang is presumed drowned.
KARE reports another man at the scene who the family did not know also tried to save the nephew and was able to pull the boy to safety.
The water patrol's search for Vang continued throughout the day on Monday and is expected to resume on Tuesday morning. Chisago County Sheriff's deputies searched for the man using sonar equipment, but conducting operations on the fast-moving river was a challenge.
"With our boats, its hard to keep them in a certain location where we know that the incident happened," said Sheriff Rick Duncan.
Vang’s sister, Darra Vang, said although he was not a good swimmer, he “loves his family” and wouldn’t have thought twice about jumping in after his nephew.
“This is just how he is. He would do anything for anybody before himself,” she said.
Vang's family members from the Twin Cities were on scene at the river both Sunday and Monday. Toufue Vang was set to be married this fall.
The accident comes as officials have warned water enthusiasts, boaters and anglers about extraordinarily high water levels and swift currents on waterways in the metro area.