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Body of Rochester man found

Victim swept away before son could toss him life preserver

Post-Bulletin staff and news reports

ALMA, Wis. — The body of a Rochester man was found late this morning in the Mississippi River, the Buffalo County, Wis., sheriff said.

The man, who has not been named by officials, was presumed drowned after being swept away by the current in the river during a boating trip Sunday.

Officials said the man was in the water outside a boat near Alma when the current pulled him away about 5 p.m. The man had been boating with at least four others.

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The man’s teenage son, who was in the boat, grabbed a life preserver but when he turned to throw it, his dad was gone, said Buffalo County Sheriff Mike Schmidtknecht.

The location was south of the Alma dam, near Dairyland Power Cooperative’s electric generating station.

Searchers from both the Wisconsin and Minnesota sides of the river worked into Sunday night to find the victim.

The Wabasha and Winona county sheriff’s departments are joining Buffalo County authorities and a number of other law enforcement agencies in the effort.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said this morning his department contributed its side-scanning radar to the search.

This is the fifth drowning in five weeks in the region. A woman, her two children and boyfriend drowned after their boat capsized May 12.

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