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Water Taxi Rescues Woman Who Falls Into River During Smoke Break

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- A Water Taxi captain and her deckhand rescued a woman who was on her smoking break and fell into the Chicago River late Monday morning near Roosevelt Road.

The captain told WBBM's Steve Miller that it was fortunate that her boat was in the right place at the right time.

Water Taxi Captain Ragna Russo says she's the only Water Taxi that goes south of Roosevelt Road during the week.

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And so she was in a position to see the woman soon after she fell into the river.

"And she gave me this weak little wave, and I called out, 'Man overboard!'" Russo says.

She said her deckhand, David Blackford, went to work immediately. It was difficult to maneuver to the spot on the river wall where the woman was.

"When he threw the life ring a couple of times, she was exhausted and she was afraid to let go of this piece of rebar that was hanging out of the wall there that she was holding onto," Russo says.

The deckhand threw the life ring to someone on shore, who dropped it down to the woman, Russo says.

The woman could not swim, the captain says.

The fire department says the woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition.

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