UPDATE: Search continues for missing teen and two men in Vermillion River in Goodhue County
(ABC 6 News) – Search teams are looking for three people, including a 17-year-old girl, who went missing while swimming in the Vermillion River near the Mississippi River just north of Red Wing, Minnesota.
Around 7:30 Monday night, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a male swimming in the Vermillion River. Authorities say they when they arrived, they found out two people were in the water, they began to struggle and a third person went into the river to help them. All three weren’t able to get to shore and have not been found.
The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol and dive team began searching the Vermillion River and sonar is being used in the Mississippi River Monday night and resumed Tuesday morning. The Red Wing Fire Department, Pierce County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources are also at the scene.
According to the GCSO, there was a family gathering on the north side of Diamond Island on the Vermillion River.
One family member was fishing from the shore while three others were swimming in the river, but began struggling. The male fishing onshore then went into the river to help and rescued an adult female. He went back into the water to assist the other two swimmers before all going under the water.
The GCSO Administrative Assistant, Kris Weiss, says that around 10-15 minutes passed before the 911 call was made.
All three missing people were inexperienced swimmers and did not have life jackets on, according to Weiss. The area they were swimming in was three feet, but had a sharp drop to a depth of around 8-9 feet.
The two missing adult males and 17-year-old girl are all from the same household in Oakdale, Minn.
A Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office official says they made a mistake originally calling the people missing anglers.
“I apologize for the victims being identified as fishermen in last night’s release. Between the incident and the weather, more accurate information wasn’t gathered until after the initial release went out,” Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Assistant Kris Weiss said in an email.