Woman Gets Swept Away By Deadly Rip Current, Firefighters Don’t Hesitate To Attempt Daring Rescue

Duluth

Rip currents are dangerous no matter how strong of a swimmer you are. The currents can sweep away the young and strong as quickly as older folks.

Lake Superior Rescue

Duluth Fire Department was called out to Lake Superior because a 20-year-old woman was caught in a rip current off Park Point. Originally it was reported that she was pulled out 200-300 yards.

The fire department was there within 5 minutes of the call and estimated that the woman was closer to 75 yards offshore. Multiple people had been swimming with her, but they all made it back to the shore.

“I think she was able to get out of the rip current because when the call first came in it was reported she was 200 to 300 yards off shore but when we got there she was more like 75 yards off shore, but she was struggling and exhausted. It was lucky that our Rescue 1 crew and Captain Gucinski and firefighter Sarvi were able to get to her and save her life.”

Assistant Chief Dennis Edwards

Bringing Her Out Of the Water

The woman was fortunate that the fire department arrived when they did, no matter how far out from shore she was. Captain Paul Gucinski and Dan Sarvi went into the water, but they could touch the bottom the entire time.

According to Gucinski, even though the woman could likely touch the ground too, she was too weak to stand on her own. Guncinski said, ” Even though we were able to touch there, it was pretty close.”

The Mayo Ambulance took the woman to the hospital to get checked over and treated for exhaustion.

Dangerous Conditions

Water conditions at Park Point have been more hazardous than normal. Red flag warnings have been issued throughout the summer alerting swimmers to dangerous water conditions, including strong rip currents.

If the Red flag is flying, people should stay out of the water. If people find themselves in a rip current, they need to swim parallel to the shore until they get free from the current.

“Growing up here myself, those waves look fun and enticing, but it’s not the ocean. The frequency is greater, the rip currents are extremely dangerous and the water temperature is low. It’s a very dangerous situation in waves that big.”

Assistant Chief Edwards
Sources: 1, 2

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