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Firefighters have to canoe downriver to rescue capsized kayakers on Kickapoo River

Brad Williams



A weekend kayaking trip in western Wisconsin turned into a rescue operation Sunday. 

Four women from northern Illinois became stranded on the banks of the Kickapoo River in Vernon County, when the swift river current caused their kayaks to capsize. 

Rescue crews could not reach the women from land because of the terrain. 

The kayakers were lifted from the site by ropes after firefighters from La Farge went downriver by canoe to get to them. 

Recent heavy rains were blamed for causing the Kickapoo River to run faster than normal. 

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears warned people to stay off the river when the water is high, because the current tends to be faster than usual.