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Downed trees in Cannon River capsize kayaks and canoes, leading to water rescue

Recent rainfall creates dangerous conditions on Minnesota rivers
Recent rainfall creates dangerous conditions on Minnesota rivers 02:11

FARIBAULT, Minn. — Three adults and six children are safe after their boats capsized in the Cannon River on Saturday.

The river had risen four feet because of recent rainfalls, according to readings from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

"I can confidently say that if there weren't life jackets, it would've been a whole different scenario," Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told WCCO. "We had boats in the river, the DNR Game Warden, the sheriff's office, and we had two drones flying up and down the river."

According to investigators, the large group launched their boats from Two Rivers Park and ran into trouble about two miles downstream; some of the canoes and kayaks struck debris in the water and then capsized in the strong current.

"The amount of debris and hazards that change in the river can be different than last week," Diesnt warned. "A tree falls down and makes a different route that a kayaker needs to take, and that can throw a wrench into anybody's trip if they didn't know that was there."

One of the adults was able to dial 911 and described to dispatchers their approximate whereabouts.

A convoy of first responders then arrived at Julie Lambert's property, which sits high above the banks of the river.

"They sat on their butts and slid down this hill to get to those kids," Lambert recalled to WCCO News. "Without hesitation. One right after the other. It was incredible."

As Minnesotans head into summer, officials want people to remember to stay safe on the water by following these tips.

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