Three people needed to be rescued from the La Crosse River on Tuesday, a day after heavy rain has water flowing very quickly.
According to the La Crosse Fire Department, six people in four kayaks and a canoe — with two of those six in the canoe — hit a tree on the river near the Viterbo Fields area, and ended up stranded.
Three made it to shore, but the other three needed help from the fire department.
“They were more just stuck on the water, ended up in a location that was pretty safe for them as long as they weren’t trying to move around to much,” La Crosse Fire Battalion chief Greg Temp told WIZM. “And we were able to go out and get them, then.”
Temp said they conducted a “shore based” rescue for two and one of the fire department dive team boats picked up the third.
Temp added that all six had on life preservers, which was essential. He also noted the river is not very safe right now.
“With the rain that we had (Monday), the La Crosse River is up quite a bit and the flow of the water is moving a lot quicker than it was even (Monday),” Temp said. “It creates a hazardous condition for a couple of days, until the water goes down a little bit — and slows down.
“We would recommend, depending on what happens tomorrow with rain, that for the next couple days or until the water comes back down, that kayakers and people canoeing stay off these smaller, fast moving rivers for a little while.”