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Duluth crews called to two more water rescues Wednesday

DULUTH — As rescuers continued the search Wednesday for a 13-year-old boy who was swept away while swimming in Duluth's Amity Creek, emergency personnel were called to rescue two people in unrelated incidents in Lake Superior.

At 12:42 p.m., police and firefighters were dispatched to the lake near Glensheen Mansion for a swimmer in distress. The caller reported hearing the man yelling for help. When police and firefighters arrived, they could see a man about 200 yards out who was struggling to stay above water, according to Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Richard Mattson.

"When I first got there, he was under," he said.

Firefighters John Kienzle and Nicholas Biondich and Captain Steve Sauve put on wetsuits, floatation devices and swim fins before swimming out to the man. They supported him until a Coast Guard boat from Park Point arrived and picked them all up. A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources boat also arrived on scene to lend assistance.

The man, who was not wearing a life jacket, reportedly was severely hypothermic and could only give firefighters his first name and tell them no one else had been with him.


"He was conscious when we got to shore," Mattson said. "He's a very lucky young man."

The man was transported to a local hospital for treatment, Mattson said.

Emergency personnel were then called to an area of Lake Superior at the far eastern end of Water Street below Perkins Restaurant for a boy who had reportedly fallen while climbing around on the rocks, hit his head and slipped into the water.

The people who were with him were able to pull the 11-year-old out of the water and were administering CPR when firefighters arrived, Mattson said.

Initially, the report said he had no pulse and was not breathing, but when the rescue crew arrived, the boy reportedly was breathing but unconscious.

Firefighters set up a rope-hauling system and basket to get the boy out of the rocky area so he could be transported to a local hospital.

Mattson said even with three Duluth water emergencies in less than 24 hours, he didn't think the calls for assistance would stop anytime soon.

"I don't think we're done yet, it's too beautiful and warm," he said.


He encouraged people to swim with a buddy, wear lifejackets and be aware of the surroundings.

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