College rowers, U coaches rescue injured woman from Mississippi River

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 18, 2014 - 10:59 PM

Injured woman was caught in trees along shore when rescuers saw her Wednesday morning.

hide

In this file photo, U of M head rowing coach Wendy Davis shouted instructions to rowers on the Mississippi River. Davis, another coach and two collegiate rowers pulled an injured woman from the river on June 18, 2014.

Photo: Minnesota Athletic Communications,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Two college rowers and a pair of coaches pulled an injured woman from a tangle of trees along the Mississippi River shoreline in Minneapolis on Wednesday morning and handed her over to emergency medical personnel.

The woman, wearing only a T-shirt and underpants and no shoes, was spotted by one of the University of Minnesota coaches about 7:15 a.m. among trees south of the Lake Street Bridge.

Head coach Wendy Davis, assistant Peter Morgan and two offseason camp rowers helped save the woman, who was conscious and suffering from a broken leg, effects of hypothermia and possibly broken ribs.

“I can’t imagine her lasting much longer,” Morgan said. “There are not many people on the river. We are very thankful we were there.”

The rescuers said they had difficulty estimating the woman’s age, given that she had a purplish-blue hue from being in the water. Their guesses ranged from the mid-20s into the 40s.

Authorities spoke with the woman near the river and were trying to verify her account of the incident, Davis said. The agency in charge of the investigation, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, declined to reveal the woman’s name or even her approximate age, but did say she is from Minneapolis.

Davis said she was in a motorized coach’s boat with first-year rowers Emily Stock of Minnesota and Emily Johansen of Harvard and spotted the woman “kind of close to shore. It looked like she was wading in the water, about waist deep. She was in a bunch of trees.”

Davis’ first thought was that the woman “just wanted to wade in the water” and noted that the men’s rowing team had just passed by “and thought the same thing I did.”

She said she soon realized “that she’s clearly injured and clearly caught in the tree.”

Davis said she and the rowers motored over to the woman and got her partly into their boat. The three could get the woman into the boat only as far as her waist.

“They held onto her,” Davis said of Stock, a Prior Lake High School graduate, and Johansen, an Edina High School grad. “The current was so strong. They were the muscle.”

Morgan then arrived in his motor boat and hoisted the woman fully into Davis’ boat by her legs.

Davis said the woman “thought she broke some ribs, and she had clearly broken one of her legs.”

The woman said “she went in near the Weisman Museum,” Davis added. “That’s a good 3 miles upstream.”

Morgan said he overheard the woman tell medical personnel that she “fell into the river the night before on the East Bank.”

She was “borderline hypothermic and very banged up,” Morgan continued. “She had shorts on but said they came off in the course of being in the river.”

Morgan said that in his 15 years of coaching, the past three at the U, “I’ve come across my share of dead bodies. This is the first person I’ve ever pulled out alive. So it was gratifying in that sense.”

Davis said that in 14 years as a coach at the U this also is her first water rescue.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco 2 Top 11th Inning
Los Angeles 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close