An Eastern Iowa family, stranded on the Upper Iowa River, had to be rescued by Winneshiek County authorities.


Shortly after 12 noon Wednesday (June 26), a Winneshiek County deputy, out on patrol on the north edge of Decorah, spotted a family in distress in the Upper Iowa River, which runs close to the intersection of Pole Line Road and Highway 52.

Two girls from Bettendorf, age 5 and 13, had been tubing with their grandparents, 54 and 63 years old, from Davenport. The girls and their grandfather became hung up on a fallen tree in the river; the grandmother was able to make it to a nearby sandbar.

The Decorah Fire Department was called in and assisted the sheriff with rescuing the family from the river.

The Winneshiek County Medical Center Ambulance assessed the family for injuries, but no one needed to be taken to a hospital.

The Decorah Police Department and Winneshiek County Emergency Management also assisted at the scene.

This is the second rescue on the Upper Iowa River in Winneshiek County, in about 2 weeks.
Winneshiek County authorities rescued nearly a dozen kayakers from the Upper Iowa River on June 11th.

Officials received a report that one of 11 kayakers was hanging onto tree branches in the water after overturning and losing the boat. The others were stranded on an island near Chimney Rock Park.

In that rescue operation, Decorah Fire and Rescue crews used a drone to locate the party and took them to safety. Authorities said the rescued kayakers were family members, ranging in age from 6- to 71-year-old years old.